28 July 1995

Premium prices for the very best straw

QUALITY straw is in big demand for processing into livestock bedding, with premium prices on offer.

Environmental Straw Products of Astley Park, Shrewsbury, plans to buy 8000t of wheat straw from September. The company, which started chopping straw for cattle in a farm building, has marketed polythene-wrapped bales of poultry and horse bedding under the trademark Sundown since 1990.

Now investment in new plant on a greenfield site near Shrews-bury, by parent firm David Nunn Group, will allow ESP to expand and "process all the dry, bright and clean wheat straw we can procure", says the Nunn Groups financial director, Mike Nunn.

"In the past we have not been able to process enough straw to meet demand. We need the very best wheat straw and we will pay farmers a premium to get it."

Straw is chopped before dust extraction and treatment with a preservative to inhibit mould and bacteria growth. Most is then packed in 25kg bales. The firm claims the material is a good insulator and has such exceptional absorbency that each bale covers 30% more floor area than the equivalent weight of wood shavings. Price of the bedding averages £3.50/25kg bale. &#42

Robert Davies

Mike Nunn… Needs more straw.