31 July 1998

Buoyant end to standing straw

THIS seasons standing straw sales have closed as they began – with prices well up on last year.

South-west auctioneers Stags, having sold more than 3000 acres for 30 farmers, report averages of £82/ha (£33/acre) and £52/ha (£21/acre) for barley and wheat straw respectively.

The firms Richard Pringle attributes prices nearly double last season to empty barns and the need for cleaner stock. "People are even bedding up the lambs in the market now."

Barley straw topped at £128/ha (£52/acre). And one of the last sales of the season saw wheat make to £106/ha (£43/acre). "I cant remember wheat at that sort of money before," says Mr Pringle. "Two farmers wanted it – it was as simple as that."

The trade will, he says, be a welcome bonus to arable farmers with corn prices in the doldrums.