Up, up and away for straw values

STANDING STRAW prices have risen by £20/acre in some regions as livestock producers snap up seasonal supplies.


Demand reflects new survey data from the Home-Grown Cereals Authority showing a fall in the area of combinable crops this harvest.


Richard Stagg of Voyce Pullin rural surveyors said the company’s recent pre-harvest sale of 750 acres of standing straw on Devon farms saw stiff competition.


“Averages are up on last year by £15-£20/acre.


“There has been a swing in the county away from cereal crops in favour of maize or oilseed now area aid payments have gone under CAP reforms.


Availability is tight and straw buyers have been keen to secure local supplies, conscious no doubt of the rising cost of haulage.”


Competitive bidding saw winter barley straw average £39/acre and winter wheat straw £41/acre, according to the company.


A similar picture began emerging as the first seasonal auctions got under way in the midlands this week.


An offering of over 600 acres along the Shropshire/Cheshire borders saw winter barley average £32/acre (up £7 on 2004) and winter wheat £22/acre (up £3), said Andrew Wallace of Cheshire-based auctioneers Wright Manley.


The recent 2005 HGCA Planting Survey of 3000 growers shows cereal plantings are down nationwide.


Nearly all regions of England showed a fall in the area of winter wheat and barley planted last autumn, the latter down by almost 10%.

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