The straw market has hardened as prices average between €18-20/bale nationwide, according to a spokesperson for the Irish Grain Growers Association (IGGA).

Tillage farmers with straw stored in sheds who wouldn’t regularly be selling straw until after Christmas are being quite active as prices rise, he said.

“Lads are moving the straw now as prices reach €18-20/bale, but they are deciding to serve their regular customers first.

“There would be a good bit of straw going to the north and west from the southeast, thanks to the close access to the motorways.”

Traditionally straw is more expensive in the west of the country, but a recent look at Donedeal has shown that the east/west price divide for straw has narrowed.

Straw prices in the east and midlands have been steadily increasing for the past few weeks, with 4X4 round bales commonly being advertised for close to €20/bale.

Sample 4X4 round bales of straw prices:
  • Cavan – €20
  • Laois – €20
  • Mayo – €25
  • Galway – €22
  • Kerry – €22
  • Kildare – €17
  • Westmeath – €18
  • Carlow – €20 

There is plenty of demand for good quality bedding and feeding straw across the country, with the demand for straw continuing to drive prices to levels similar to 4X4 round bales of hay and silage.

Grain growers opposed to the importation of straw

With the use of straw across Irish farms depending on the weather, the association is hoping that Irish tillage farmers can meet national supply rather than turning to importing straw from the UK.

We are 100% opposed to the importation of straw. We see the problems English farmers are facing with blackgrass and we don’t want that to be brought in here.

“If it were to happen the bare minimum we would be asking for is that buyers are notified that the straw had been imported,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, the association appreciates the situation at the moment where some farmers may be struggling to source straw.

“The straw market always varies, it depends on the weather. If we get a short winter then less straw will be needed, but the opposite is the case if the weather turns bad.

“It is purely a supply and demand market, also there is no question that the area being sown is reducing year-on-year,” he said.