Straw prices: What’s barley, wheat, oat and pea straw making?

This season has brought a lot of challenges, but farmers are resourceful. The commodity is in such demand – due to the shortage – many different types of straw are being traded this season; many – in some years – would be chopped out the back of the combine.

Farmers are looking at the alternatives as the harvest progresses and the shortage becomes a reality.

Spring barley straw is walking out of fields at €30/bale (4X4), while €35/bale is being paid in some cases. Lower prices are also being quoted.

How much are you paying for barley straw (4X4 bale)?

  • €20-25/bale (31%)
  • €25-30/bale (29%)
  • More than €30/bale (27%)
  • Less than €20/bale (13%)

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Many farmers are paying €30/bale for wheat and oaten bales, while others are paying under €30/bale for wheat or oaten bales.

Big square bales (8X4X4) are trading for between €75/bale and €80/bale in some regions, while small square bales are selling for €3/bale off some farms.

Rape straw (4X4) is trading at between €12/bale and €15/bale, while there are reports of big square bales trading for three times that price at €45/bale.

When buying rape straw, remember to ask the farmer what herbicide the crop received. Crops treated with ASTROKerb cannot be used for animal feeding or bedding.

Pea stalks are the latest thing to come under demand as an alternative to traditional straw; they’ll set you back €25/bale (4X4) in some areas.

Another option, peat bedding, has been quoted to AgriLand at a cost of €12/m³.

Teagasc recently presented comparisons between different bedding options. Peat was one of the cheapest bedding options mentioned. It works out at a cost of €0.87/day, while woodchip costs approximately €1.07/day.