Straw prices on the rise as the calving season gets underway

Straw prices have increased recently, just as the calving season begins to get underway, with prices now averaging €25/bale.

This represents an increase of nearly €5/bale since the turn of the New Year, when straw was being advertised for closer to €20/bale.

Round 4X4 bales of quality straw are being advertised on Donedeal for up to €30/bale in parts of the country, with prices generally cheaper in the southeast.

Sample prices 4×4 round bales:
  • Kilkenny – €25
  • Meath – €23
  • Wexford – €23
  • Cork – €25
  • Mayo – €25
  • Roscommon – €30

Prices for the large square bales of straw range from as low as €22/bale up as high as €50/bale depending on the size.

Straw Market Conditions

The latest straw price increase can be partially attributed to the fact that the calving season is beginning to get underway, according to a spokesperson for the Irish Grain Growers Association.

With cows beginning to start calving, farmers are willing to pay that little bit more for straw.

The Grain Growers Association is confident that there is adequate straw supplies to keep up with domestic demand, as long as the weather remains mild.

“We’re heading into February now and February 1 is often referred to as the half way point of winter. 

“But if we get a spell of wet weather, it could push out the winter period a little further. But the chances of straw prices going down this year is very slim,” the spokesperson said.

This winter has been exceptional for straw prices because of the shortage caused by the poor harvest conditions and lesser volume, the spokesperson said.

The Grain Growers believe that in a regular year tillage farmers should accept no less than €12/bale off the field in the southeast, with that price rising to €14/bale in the midlands.

If the farmer decided to draw in these bales, stack them and store them in a shed, an extra €4/bale should be added to the price at the very bare minimum, the spokesperson said.

Comparison With Hay And Silage

Straw prices continue to match, and even surpass in some cases, the price of round bales of hay and silage.

A look at Donedeal shows that 4X4 round bales of hay are being advertised at an average of close to €25/bale. 

However, hay is being advertised for as much as €30/bale an over in parts of the west and north.

Meanwhile, round bales of silage can be bought for between €18-25/bale depending on the part of the country you are in.

Similar to hay and straw, prices are slightly higher in counties along the west coast.