Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 19 April 2018

Straw trade on fire as prices soar to €60/ac on the flat

The buoyant trade for straw has been a welcome boost for grain growers
The buoyant trade for straw has been a welcome boost for grain growers
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Strong competition between farmers and traders continues to drive on straw prices.

Tillage farmers in Meath and Louth said the equivalent of €60/ac was being offered for straw on the flat, where a top of €32/ac was paid last year.

The buoyant trade for straw comes as a welcome boost for grain growers battling to make progress in the main crop harvest.

Combines were halted by the rains in much of the country yesterday and the outlook for the remainder of the week is for broken, showery weather.

Farmers report a particularly strong demand for wheaten straw, with prices of €38-40 being quoted for 8x4x4 bales in south Kildare and Carlow. Around €29-30 was paid for 8x4x3 bales.

Most of the buying is being done by beef finishers, with much of the straw heading to the North, traders said.

Large bales of barley straw are also trading for €38-40 for 8x4x4 bales, with up to €30 paid for 8x4x3 bales.

In South Tipperary 4x4 bales of barley straw off the field are still making around €14/bale. Oaten straw is generally making €12/bale.

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Growers and traders claim there hasn't been enough straw to meet demand so far this harvest, with many livestock farmers ordering increased quantities compared to 2016.

Traders in the west said farmers were just starting to put in orders for straw, with 4x4 bales costing around €23-25/bale delivered.

Harvest

On the harvest front meanwhile, cereal growers were struggling to make headway this week, with heavy rains halting progress.

The winter barley and oilseed rape crops are generally completed and the focus now is on winter wheat and spring barley.

Although winter wheat crops are described as variable, some growers in the south reported yields of 4-4.5t/ac, with moistures around 19pc and 75kph. However, yields generally are in the 3.6-4.2t/ac range.

Some lodging is evident in the spring barley crop.

Yields are described as respectable by growers, with 2.8-3.4t/ac generally being achieved. However, fields rather than farms have been cut to date.

Yields of winter oats are good, with most crops in the 3.5-3.7t/ac range - moistures generally vary from 17pc to 20pc.


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