Straw values shoot up as sales kick off

By Simon Wragg

BIDDING at this seasons standing straw auctions has got off to an exceptionally strong start with values in some parts of the country up by 40% on last years prices.

Livestock producers have little choice but to buy more straw after a long winter and a wet spring made worse by foot-and-mouth.

These factors, coupled with a general running down of supplies held on-farm over the past few years, has sparked a surge in straw values at a time when income from the livestock sector is at an all-time low.

Hereford-based auctioneer David Thompson has auctioned 1070ha (2650 acres) of standing straw and seen averages lift significantly.

“Winter wheat averaged 41.76/acre against 24.75 last season and winter barley 40.50/acre against 27.65.”

Auctioneers believe that straw will be hard to come by this autumn, but Christopher Trower, of the Hay and Straw Merchants Association, said:

“Members serving the worst hit areas are holding back from the market, counting just how many customers will be active this winter after foot-and-mouth.”


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