First standing straw auction of the year sees record prices

The first standing straw auction of the season in Devon has seen record prices despite crops being lighter than last year.

Winter wheat averaged £95/acre across 289 acres while 102 acres of winter barley made an astonishing £120/acre, said Stags partner and auctioneer Chris Clapham.

This compared with a 2017 winter wheat price of £58/acre and a winter barley price of £75/acre despite crops looking on average 20% lighter, said Mr Clapham.

See also: High straw price to hit livestock sector for a second winter

“There were a few fields that were not too bad but others were significantly lighter than last year,” he said.

He said all the straw went to local farmers with dairy, beef and sheep keepers in attendance, with straw dealers turning up to look but not bidding.

The prices appear to confirm fears about high straw prices this season after the long winter reduced carryover stocks to nil in many areas of the country with prices hitting up to £130/t by late spring.

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