Straw prices are holding relatively firm, with €20 per 4X4 bale still the common price in most areas.

However, as spring barley came on to the market in the past week, prices in Co Wexford, where most straw travels out of the county, did come out lower at €15/bale.

On the opposite side of the country straw is available for €23-26/bale delivered in Co Galway, while farmers collecting from fields themselves are paying €18/bale.

Moving to the northwest and in parts farmers are looking at prices of €30/bale (4X4s) delivered, with other prices reported at €28/bale, while 8X4X3s are at €45/bale.

In the north midlands prices are ranging from €22-26/4X4 bale delivered and 8X4X3s are moving for between €40/bale and €45/bale in some parts of Leinster.

Twenty euros per bale remains the go to price in most of Leinster and into counties Tipperary, Cork and Waterford for 4X4s, with lower prices available for regulars loading and collecting themselves.

Using the Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) payment of €100/ac and a yield of 10 bales/ac, this places a value of €10/t on straw straight away, along with a baling charge of €4/bale.

As stated last week, as fertiliser prices rise, farmers selling straw should not forget the value of P and K in the straw which comes to approximately €2.25/bale on an 8t/ha (3.2t/ac) spring barley crop, while the carbon value equates to approximately €0.92/bale at present.