Light straw yields put prices high
STRONGER than expected demand for straw combined with a sudden realisation that straw yields across the country are light is driving prices up.
According to Devon-based merchant John Dorse, many farms are still stuck with too many cattle due to movement restrictions and suspension of the OTMS.
High prices at some standing straw auctions led to some verbal agreements being broken by growers for an extra £25/ha (£10/acre). Some merchants – including Mr Dorse – say they have already lost money fulfilling early orders for regular customers. As a guide to prices he says wheat straw is now the price barley straw was six weeks ago – about £50/t delivered – and barley straw is scarce.
James Morrish of the Rural Stress Information Network, whose work includes finding straw and fodder for farms in difficulty, has been warned the group may have to pay up to £60/t for barley straw. An east Devon farmer says he has recently paid £52/t delivered for barley and £45/t for wheat in big square bales. *