Farmers are being urged to avail of the Straw Incorporation Measure, ahead of the deadline on Monday 17 May.

IFA grain chair Mark Browne said all tillage farmers should consider the scheme: “It’s unlikely to be oversubscribed, so applicants will gain entry and receive €250/ha for straw from grain crops.” He particularly urged farmers with oilseed rape crops to apply: “€150/acre for incorporation seems like good value.”

Little over half of the estimated 8,000ha of rape ?straw has been applied on so far. It’s understood applications are at less than 30,000ha. The €10m budget for the pilot measure can cover up to 40,000ha at the full €250/ha rate. “Weather will have a bigger impact on the straw market than the scheme itself so I’d encourage farmers to apply if they are still unsure,” said Irish Grain Growers chair Bobby Miller.

“Farmers also have the option of withdrawing a parcel or parcels without penalty should a neighbour need the straw for bedding or feeding, so there’s no fear of farmers letting down their regular customers.”