Hay and straw prices continue to firm

Hay and straw met with another firm trade at Carter Jonas’s 59th annual January sale at the Newbury Rugby Club last Thursday (21 January).

Buyers from the south west, Wales and the Home Counties bid for about 1800t on farms throughout southern England with an almost total clearance of the 100 lots on offer, totalling in excess of £100,000.

Auctioneer Simon Pallett said the recent spell of cold weather had increased demand since the December sale, particularly for barley straw and hay.

It was noticeable, however, that conventional small bales of straw were in less demand, due to the additional labour requirement in loading and transporting, and the fact that most horse stables now accept large bales. “We would suggest that the days of the small baler are numbered except for home use,” he said.

John Liddiard of East Shefford, near Hungerford, topped the straw trade with his Claas 2200 bales of barley straw, making £80/t (£24.25 a bale). Barley straw ranged from £50/t to £80/t, to average at £66/t overall. Small bales made up to £1.75 a bale.

And Alan Hutton of Mapledurwell, near Basingstoke, topped the hay trade with his D4000 bales ryegrass/clover mix, making £122/t (£27.50 a bale). Hay ranged from £79/t to £122/t in big bales to average £87/t. Small bales made up to £3.25 a bale.

Wheat straw averaged £56/t, while oat straw from Puckshipton Farms of Marden, near Devizes, made £54/t (£15.63 a bale) in D1010 bales.

The auctioneer’s next sale is on 11 March 2010.

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