Australian Fodder Exports Surge in 2017

Media Release

9 May 2017

Australian fodder exports have surged in the first three months of 2017 according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) data. March 2017 fodder exports totalled 108,572 tonnes, the highest monthly volume on record since the data series commenced in July 2014. The first three months of 2017 have seen export volumes reach almost 300,000 tonnes.

Japan, Australia’s largest fodder market accounted for 45 per cent of total exports by volume for the first three months of 2017 followed by China with 22 per cent. The Republic of Korea accounted for 21 per cent and Taiwan, historically the fourth largest market, accounted for 7 per cent.

For the full 2016 calendar year, Australian fodder exports totalled 988,175 tonnes.

“We are certainly seeing very strong demand continue for Australian fodder products from our traditional export markets at the start of 2017,” commented Mr John McKew, CEO for the Australian Fodder Industry Association.

“Our exporters have been very busy with a number commenting that they have been processing at near full plant capacity so far this year. As we see interest in Australian fodder products coming from relatively new markets such as the Middle East and India, the outlook remains buoyant for the Australian fodder export industry.”

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Quality is King” the focus of the first AFIA Our Place Workshop

Media Release

11 April 2017

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with TPC Agriculture, is excited to announce an Our Place workshop that will focus on fodder decisions designed to improve production and profit for dairy farmers.

The first of ten Our Place workshops to be conducted by the partnership in 2017, the “Quality is King” workshop will be held from 10.30am on Friday, 12 May 2017 at Tom and Mick Acocks’ dairy farm, 348 Bonn Road, Rochester, Victoria. Immediately following the workshop, a tour of Jenharwill Baling at Elmore will be conducted.

Tom and Mick Acocks operate a substantial dairy farm near Rochester in northern Victoria and at this workshop will share why “Quality is King” for them. The Acocks’ farm runs around 750-800 milking cows year-round and last year produced 7.8 million litres of milk with average components of 3.3 protein and 4.2 fat. In an average year, they will see 60 to 70 percent of their fodder requirements produced on-farm and are not afraid of selling feed if it is excess to requirements or lower quality than desired. Feed tests are an integral part of their decision-making process when it comes to fodder. Tom and Mick understand that to produce quality milk they need quality fodder and “Quality is King”.

“To date, 2017 has certainly produced an abundant supply of fodder in many regions around the country but those higher yields do not always deliver the quality required in today’s modern dairy enterprises,” said John McKew, AFIA Chief Executive Officer.

“This workshop, the first of ten in a collaborative effort by AFIA and TPC Agriculture, aims to assist dairy farmers in these challenging times, and we encourage AFIA members and non-members to participate in as many workshops as possible to realise their full potential,” urged Mr McKew.

If you are interested in:

  • making fodder decisions that are the best fit for production and profit;
  • understanding what to grow and buy, and when to shandy low quality feed and when to sell it;

then this free workshop is a must for you.

To RSVP, please contact Renata Cumming from TPC Agriculture now on 0419 600 334 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Morning tea will be provided on the day.

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2017 National Fodder Conference

Media Release

31 January 2017

The Australian fodder industry is one of the most important in Australian agriculture, underpinning production in dairy, livestock and other intensive industries.

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is the peak body for the Australian fodder industry, connecting all sectors of the supply chain from production to end-user.  Since AFIA was established in 1996, our network of members, sponsors and supporters has functioned to help the Australian fodder industry grow.

In 2016/17, that gross value of the Australian fodder industry is estimated to be in excess of $2 billion per annum, based on 6-8 million tonnes of production; a figure that continues to grow year-on-year, assisted by AFIA’s work.  Over the past 15 years, the Australian fodder export industry alone has grown from 100,000mt to an estimated 1,000,000mt (2016/17 forecast).

Each year AFIA hosts the National Fodder Conference, attracting in excess of 250 industry stakeholders from around Australia.  The 2017 National Fodder Conference will be held on 7-9 August at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland.

The 2017 National Fodder Conference is AFIA’s opportunity to showcase the Australian fodder industry and bring together key individuals and businesses that make up the industry.  The theme for the 2017 Conference is ‘Feeding Innovation, Growing Success’.  The 2017 program will contain information to engage and stimulate everyone.  With a line-up of both international and Australian speakers as well as plenty of opportunity for delegate interaction with exhibitors and sponsors, you and your business is assured to gain insights and connections from participating in the 2017 National Fodder Conference.

In addition to the conference speaking program and various workshops, the conference also comprises social functions including the Welcome Cocktail Function and the Annual Conference Dinner, great opportunities to connect with new and existing clients in a relaxed atmosphere as well as reconnecting with your fellow fodder industry friends.

Previous conferences have seen attendances consistently number between 250-300 delegates and have comprised a wide range of fodder industry participants including hay and silage growers and contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, hay exporters, domestic fodder traders, fodder transporters, end-users and researchers.

The 2017 National Fodder Conference program is currently being developed.  Further information, including registration details and pricing, will become available over the coming months and will be posted to the AFIA website (www.afia.org.au), our social media platforms and directly to our members and sponsors.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the conference, please contact the AFIA office on (03) 9670 0523 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to lodge an expression on interest.

If you have an interest in the fodder industry or you are reliant on fodder for your business, you cannot afford to miss the 2017 National Fodder Conference, hosted by AFIA.  Lock the dates away now, 7-9 August 2017, and join us for the 2017 National Fodder Conference at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Social Media Teleconference

Media Release

25 January 2017

Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) has partnered with the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) to co-host a specially-designed teleconference on Thursday 16 February 2017 titled ‘Social media still scary?’ for their respective members to demystify social media and learn about the exciting opportunities of being more active online.

For interested women in agriculture including women in fodder, the teleconference will address the following social media questions:

  • Are you digitally savvy?
  • Do you know the difference between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn?
  • Are you connecting with your family, community or business via social media?
  • Are you aware of digital privacy, sharing documents and data online (cloud computing)?

If you answered 'no' to one of the questions above, then this is the teleconference just for you and the best part, it's free.  AWiA Company Secretary, Elizabeth Brennan, will present an interactive one-hour workshop that anyone can join via teleconference regardless of their postcode, from the comfort of their own home, office or even the roadside.

We will be emailing you a few resources once you've registered and a couple days beforehand, we will send you the teleconference details and a booklet that you can use to follow along during the teleconference. We understand the frustrations of slow internet so it won't be necessary to be online during the teleconference but you are more than welcome to do so, if you prefer to learn that way.

There will also be a short amount of time to discuss topics that aren't covered in this introduction to social media, so please bring along any curly questions you may have.

To register for the teleconference, click on the green Register button via this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/social-media-still-scary-tickets-31242368766

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teleconference date & time:  Thursday 16 February 2017 8:00pm – 9:00pm (AEDT)

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Australian Export Fodder Five Year Plan Approved

Media Release

9 January 2017

The Board of The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has approved the Australian fodder industry’s Australian Export Fodder Five Year Plan.  The plan, developed by the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) in consultation with fodder exporters, has been in development since the Australian export fodder industry put in place a $0.50 per tonne levy on all fodder exports.  The levy came into effect on 1 July 2016.

RIRDC has supported fodder crops R&D since 1985 and in partnership with AFIA since 1996. The program was previously funded through RIRDC core funds and supplemented with voluntary contributions from the export hay sector of the fodder crops industry.

In 2016, the Australian government approved an Export Fodder R&D Levy of $0.50 per tonne on all exported fodder to support ongoing research and development. The export fodder industry has identified a number of objectives that will be addressed by this Five Year Plan, including varietal improvement, agronomy and responding to market requirements.

Australian fodder exports totalled just over 936,000 tonnes in 2015 with a total value of over A$383m. Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan are all strong export destinations for Australian fodder.

The Australian fodder industry export forecast for 2016/17 is for one million tonnes of exports, a record for the Australian fodder industry.  The industry remains confident of achieving this significant milestone despite the difficulties experienced by hay growers during the current season.

The Australian export fodder industry is unique in the world with oaten hay being the primary export fodder product. Typically, lucerne (or alfalfa) is the most widely exported fodder commodity internationally, thus providing Australia with a key differentiation in the market. Australia does export other fodder products such as wheaten hay, barley hay, cereal straw, lucerne, vetch and rhodes grass; however these usually represent less than 20 per cent of total exports.

Michael Beer, RIRDC’s Program Manager, Research and Innovation, commented that the approval of the Australian Export Fodder Five Year Plan indicated the level of maturity that the Australian export fodder industry has reached in a relatively short period of time and the commitment the industry was willing to make to further develop its export potential.

John McKew, AFIA’s CEO, remarked that the Australian Export Fodder Five Year Plan provided a significant pathway of investment for the industry that would enable it to continue to grow as one of Australia’s key emerging agricultural export industries.