‘Best year ever for straw’ as harvest 2017 ramps up

With harvest 2017 well under way, so too is the buying and selling of straw. Merchants around the country are reporting strong demand and exceptional quality this year.

Crops have ripened early and farmers have been baling straw since last week. Some farmers are hoping to have the task completed in the coming days.

A farmer in Co. Meath started drawing straw last Friday. Speaking to AgriLand, he said: “Quality has been excellent over the last two days. It never has been as good.”

Demand for straw has increased significantly this year, he said, due to a lot of surplus straw being cleared over the last few years.

The Meath-based farmer supplies 8x4x4 bales, loaded in the field, at a price of €35/bale – up from €28/bale last year.

“We could sell twice what we’re making,” he said.

A lot of his straw goes to Co. Monaghan and the North, with delivery available. “We have our own customers every year, with a few new ones each year,” he said.

In the north of the country, a Co. Donegal straw merchant started baling on Monday.

It’s the best year for straw I’ve ever seen.

He delivers 8x4x4 and 8x4x3 bales throughout the counties of Donegal, Tyrone, Antrim and Derry.

In Co. Galway, Colin Furey is selling 4×4 round bales of straw for €15/bale collected from the field. He said: “Buyers come from all across the west of the country.”

The supplier also delivers straw into Connemara at a price of up to €20/bale. The Claregalway-based farmer started baling last Wednesday and reported dry, clean bales.

Round bales in Co. Tipperary are selling at a similar price – €15/bale out of the field.

The Tipperary merchant sells the majority of straw into Co. Limerick and said that demand is strong in this area.

Other prices reported around the country include: 8x4x2.5 at €25/bale; and 8x4x3 at €30/bale loaded out of the field.