Straw prices: Unpredictable weather means farmers are still happy to store

The period of unsettled weather over the last two weeks has left farmers struggling with difficult working conditions for the harvest period.

Farmers have felt the effects of both Storm Ellen and Storm Francis, which have had a severe impact on the harvest season to-date.

This has left prices in the straw market hard to grasp, as farmers are continuing to prefer to store straw until the prices rise and become more definite.

However, some straw is available on the market and AgriLand collected prices from the marketplace.

In Co. Cork, 4X4 round bales of barley straw were quoted at €19/bale (loaded); while in Co. Cavan, similar bales were quoted at €22/bale (loaded).

In Co. Kildare, 8X4X3 bales of wheaten straw were quoted at €35/bale while barley straw was quoted at €40/bale of the same size.

Oaten straw was quoted at €15/bale for a 4X4 round bale in Co. Offaly, while similar oaten bales were quoted at €16/bale in Co. Tipperary.

‘Immediate assessment of the damage is needed’

The disruption to the harvest is a concern, according to the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Tim Cullinan.

He said that, as harvest conditions continue to deteriorate, an immediate assessment of the damage is needed from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Also Read: Assessment needed as harvest conditions deteriorate – IFA

“Many farmers had already suffered the impact of a difficult winter followed by drought conditions in late spring. However, the continuing wet and stormy conditions have left farmers at breaking point,” he explained.

Some areas in the south and south-east have received 160mm of rain in August, which is 60% more than the norm.

“Regions which had escaped the worst effects of the drought have lost any positive yield potential due to the adverse weather,” he added.