Farmers try out new miscanthus bedding as straw prices soar
Farmers in west Wicklow are lauding the benefits of a new bio-energy crop grown as a replacement for fossil fuels.
Miscanthus has found favour with growers recently due to the acute shortage of straw bedding and the consequent spiralling prices.
According to the Wicklow People, Quinns of Baltinglass are bringing large bales of miscanthus to the market for use in animal bedding.
'Quinns are doing something positive to address this very serious straw crisis that is causing problems for farmers around the country. We are releasing a substantial tonnage of big baled Miscanthus in order to help alleviate the present bedding crisis,' said Paddy O'Toole, of Quinns.
Quinns have already trialled the product with a local farmer and the results were very positive.
'We have successfully trialled miscanthus bedding on the farm of John Burke in Rathmoon near the Quinns company headquarters in Baltinglass. He was gobsmacked with the efficacy and quality of the product,' said Mr O'Toole.
Mr Burke outlined how economical the crop is when used as bedding.
'When using straw with 50 cattle in one of my sheds, I typically would be blowing in a 4x4 bale of straw daily. Now that I am using miscanthus bedding I am putting in six large bales (8x4x3) and it'll last up to a month. It's the best thing I've seen in a while.
'If I had this stuff a few months ago I would have sold my straw and solely used Miscanthus and would have saved myself time and money,' he said.
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