Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Straw market sluggish as prices vary by €3/bale

Testing Times: Redmond Lane, Ballygriffin and Ger Relihan, Castletownroche, Co Cork are pictured harvesting 'Cassia' winter barley for Denis Howard, Kilcanway, Mallow. The crop yielded 4t/ac at 19pc moisture with a bushel of 70
Testing Times: Redmond Lane, Ballygriffin and Ger Relihan, Castletownroche, Co Cork are pictured harvesting 'Cassia' winter barley for Denis Howard, Kilcanway, Mallow. The crop yielded 4t/ac at 19pc moisture with a bushel of 70
Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Between €11 and €14/bale is being quoted for 4x4 round bales of straw but the market has yet to get going in earnest.

The early days of the 2013 straw market would seem to be packed with plenty of talk but not a huge amount of sales.

One Longford-based dealer who sources straw in Wexford, Carlow and Kildare to sell locally said demand had not taken off yet in his area.

He quoted prices equivalent to €13/bale for 4x4 round bales ex-yard or €23/bale including transport from the southeast to Longford.

In Kildare, another seller said farmers were talking about straw making €11-14 per round bale but little or no straw had been sold ahead of the harvest.

However, another seller maintained that he had pre-sold six loads of straw at €14/bale ex-field to buyers from Galway, Newry and Leitrim.

He added that the farmer buyers had dramatically increased their order size, with one potential customer pre-ordering 600 large square (8x4x4) bales.

Further south, sellers in Tipperary and Waterford have sold at €12-14 per bale ex-field, although demand appears to have slackened off slightly in the past week.

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"I could sell straw easier before the harvest," remarked one dealer.

"Before the barley was cut I had farmers ringing to make sure I kept them straw but now that the word has gone out that straw is plentiful, they're telling me there is no panic."

Farmers sellers in Tipperary and Waterford have secured €12-13 per bale ex-field for 4x4 round bales and €1.15/bale for small square bales sold locally.

In Limerick, straw is being quoted at €12-14/bale ex-field, according to a dealer who supplies farmers in Cork, Clare and west Limerick.

Sluggish

However, he admitted that while he had plenty of enquiries, demand was sluggish.

Winter barley straw yields have been high, with some farmers recording up to 15 bales/ac and even higher, although the straw yield from spring crops is set to be lower.

Teagasc tillage expert Jim O'Mahony said he believed straw length in oat crops was the shortest in over 20 years and with lower acreages of all crops sown this year, straw would not be as plentiful in the coming weeks.

Mr O'Mahony added that the cutting of winter oats would commence this week, weather permitting, and would be followed by spring barley in the Carlow/Athy region.

"Spring barley and winter wheat improved a lot in the past two months and they should be generally satisfactory crops from a price point of view," he added.

Winter barley harvesting was almost completed in the Tipperary, Cork, Wexford and Kilkenny region before the rain arrived last week. Winter barley crops further north will be harvested as soon as fine weather returns.

Crops generally yielded 3.5-3.8t/ac, although individual farmers reported some lower yields of 3t/ac and some high yields of 4t/ac or more.

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