Northern fodder prices soar as weather pressure continues

Silage, straw and hay prices have soared as northern buyer demand for fodder remains high following the wet winter.

Silage saw the biggest increase, fetching almost double compared to the same point last year.

Last month, silage sold for an average of £28.90/bale; up just 1% compared to February, but a whopping 86.5% increase on what was paid the year before – when bales made around £15.50.

The figures were revealed in the Northern Ireland Agricultural Market Report for the second quarter of the year, which was published earlier this month.

Straw prices

The national statistics publication also showed hikes in the prices paid for straw.

In March, small square bales made £2.71 – the figure was up 5.7% on the month before, and up 44.1% on the previous year.

Over the same month, large round bale prices had soared by 76% compared to 2017 prices. Official figures showed round bales fetching £27.10 – a 3% increase compared to February’s price.

The statistics are compiled by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affair’s Economics and Evaluations Branch.

Situation in the south

Meanwhile, in the Republic of Ireland, research carried out by AgriLand showed that – recently – €35/bale (straw) was being sought in Co. Donegal.

In Co. Wexford, 4X4 round bales were trading at €20-25/bale. 4X4 bales of wheaten straw in Co. Meath were available for €15/bale. In the same county, round bales of spring barley straw were priced at €30/bale.

4X4 bales of barley straw in Co. Kildare were quoted at €22/bale. In Co. Offaly, weathered bales were priced at €15/bale.

Moving further south to Co. Cork, bales made dry were available for €10/bale. In north Cork, good-quality 4X4 bales were priced at €25/bale.