As the broken weather makes for difficult working conditions, straw is proving hard to gather – as are prices.

Storms and heavy rain this week didn’t help the situation. Prices are still hard to grasp, but one thing is clear, yields are dramatically down in spring barley crops so far only producing five (4X4) bales per acre in many instances.

This, coupled with the low yield from winter crops, means there is plenty of storage and it seems that tillage farmers are quite happy to store straw until prices reach definite figures.

In the UK, where harvesting took place ahead of rain, some farmers opted to chop straw, predicting that there would be little opportunity to collect it, while also taking the chance to give back to the soil.

Also Read: Harvest weather causing serious problems for tillage farmers

Some prices were reported to AgriLand over the past week and collected from advertisements.

In Co. Kildare, 4X4 bales of barley straw left the field for €20/bale (loaded), while some big square bales are quoted at €40/bale (barley). Wheaten straw is €5/bale lower. Similar prices were reported in Co. Meath.

There is demand for straw for mushroom compost and this will take large amounts of wheaten straw off the market.

Oaten straw, which wouldn’t be high on many a farmer’s list to buy, was quoted at €13/bale (4X4) in Co. Kildare.

In Co. Wexford, €14/bale (4X4) was being asked for winter and spring barley straw in some regions.