Straw prices supported by poorer yields

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

By Felicity Rusk

Straw prices have crept up this year, increasing on average by a couple of pounds every month. Typically, prices would rise in the first half of the year, as supplies deplete and farmers look towards locking in supplies for the following winter. However, the challenges with this year’s domestic cereal crop has resulted in a less than optimal outlook for straw yields this season, which has provided support to prices. 

Furthermore, there are significant price variations depending on the region. In the week ending 13 September, prices for barley straw varied by £22/tonne across England and Wales, according to data from the British Hay and Straw Merchants Association. The highest prices were reported in the south-west, at £82/tonne, and the lowest in the south-east £60/tonne. Industry reports suggest there is large demand; however, stocks of straw are somewhat limited.    

As such, many producers are likely to be concerned about bedding and feed options over the coming winter. According to our recent survey conducted in August on fodder stocks, respondents were particularly concerned with the potential of higher prices and subsequently, managing cash flows. Nevertheless, farmers are encourage to secure straw requirements now and consider alternative bedding options where appropriate.

 

Felicity Rusk

Analyst - Livestock

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