Mixed forage trade as poor quality hits wheat

By Farmers Weekly staff

FORAGE sales continue to attract a mixed trade, with some hay being difficult to shift and wheat dogged by poor quality after a difficult harvest.

Tayler & Fletchers offering of 4000t at Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds was typical of earlier sales.

With a good entry of hay, vendors expectations remained high, but buyers were reluctant to pay what were perceived to be high prices.

However, better lots continue to average 70/t, with meadow hay at 60/t.

“At that price, hay is a better buy for stock feed than barley straw at 50/t in my opinion, but there seems to be a long-term change in feeding regimes,” suggests auctioneer Graham Baddeley.

Straw was a swifter trade with a clearance of 75%.

Small bale lots of barley averaged 47.50 and wheat – reflecting the poorer quality of some lots tainted or stained after weathering in the field before baling – at 45.25/t.

An unusual entry was 50t of fodder beet from a local estate, which sold at 7.50/t – below expectation.

“Feed value equivalent would be nearer 12-15/t, but an open autumn hasnt helped by reducing the overall need for extra stock feed.”

Elsewhere, a collective sale of 1560t of small baled and 750t of big-baled supplies by Cambridge-based Alexanders reflected a similar trade.

According to Mike Alexander, hay again proved a trickier trade. “Vendors with expectations of 1.70 a bale or more would be disappointed.”

A supply of bright, July-baled wheat straw helped ease the overall small-bale average to 44, although the best topped 78/t.

Oats and barley straw were marginally firmer at 47/t and 46/t respectively.

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