Straw prices: Big square bales hit €75

As the winter draws in, straw prices remain up due to continuing demand around the country. What’s for sale varies; some straw is coming out of sheds and more is being sourced out of fields.

Over recent days, prices of €75 for ‘big’ square bales have been reported to AgriLand. Small squares have been sold for as high as €8 in the west of Ireland.

However, not all straw is trading for money. Some farmers are willing to barter animals and machinery in exchange for good straw and hay.

Prices

Back to the prices at hand. 4X4 bales of barley straw in Co. Cork are selling at €15 out of the field (baled dry, but not stored in a shed). Barley straw out of the shed, in the same area, is making €25-30 / round bale.

In Co. Meath, good-quality, 4X4 bales are moving out of some sheds for €35/bale. In Co. Kildare, big square bales are selling for €65. Such bales are making big money in other locations, as prices of €70-€75 have been reported for 8X4X4 bales in the counties of Laois and Wexford.

Into the midlands and the lowest price AgriLand came across was €15/bale (4X4) in Co. Laois; a price of €18 was also reported in Co. Offaly; but the standard price is €23-25 for a round 4X4 bale.

However, €40 was reported – out of the shed – in Co. Roscommon. In Galway, oat straw is trading at €28 / 4X4 bale.

Most farmers are taking quality into consideration and poorer-quality straw is being sold at reduced rates.

Prices up

It’s almost five weeks since AgriLand did a report on straw prices. In that time prices have increased significantly.

The average price of 4X4 bales of barley straw in Co. Roscommon in mid-October was €30; it’s now up to €40.

At that time straw in strong tillage regions –  like the counties of Laois and Kildare – were selling for €20-€25/bale. This figure has stayed fairly steady. However, there are farmers charging over €30 for round bales in some of the well-populated tillage areas.