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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