Straw demand: Short spring crops, reduced winter crop area

Many orders for straw have been and are being made already according to reports from around the country.

The drought of the past number of weeks and the obvious short height of crops has got farmers thinking early. There are also reports of last season’s bales being mopped up and sheds being emptied.

AgriLand also understands that demand for the product for the mushroom compost trade remains strong and will continue to take a significant amount off the market this season.

As the area of winter wheat is also down significantly wheaten straw availability is expected to be reduced.

Speaking to AgriLand, Mark Browne, the chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) grain committee, said: “The carry over is moving fairly strong at the moment.

Spring barley, which is the biggest crop grown, is very short, so volume will be back and then there is a serious number of acres of winter barley missing out of the equation which is another large amount of straw gone.

“Winter wheat straw is going to be scarce as well,” he added.

Bobby Miller the chairperson of the Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG) stated: “Straw volumes are going to be well back on 2019 and demand will depend on what way the weather goes for the rest of the summer.

“The volume of straw will definitely be back between the lack of winter crops being sown last autumn and crops burning up in parts of the country at this stage.”

Availability and prices will only be known when a true picture of supply and demand becomes clearer during the harvest.