Straw remains in short supply across the island of Ireland, prompting strong demand for bales imported from Britain.

Price reports this week indicate spring barley straw ranges from £210/t rising to £225/t depending on availability and haulage costs. That puts the price range for a 500kg 8x4x3 bale between £105 and £112.50.

Reports indicate reserves of English straw are dwindling rapidly and with unprecedented demand coming from Irish customers, some straw merchants in Britain are now charging a premium when contacted by potential customers on this side of the Irish Sea.


Wheat straw is becoming a popular alternative for merchants importing bales and prices have crept up to around the £200/t barrier, a £10/t increase since the start of January.

Established straw merchants indicate there are new competitors entering the market and offering bales at lower prices. However, farmers should enquire about the weight of the bales on offer to make a fair comparison on price.


While availability is expected to remain limited, some merchants indicate that demand will also be dictated by weather this spring. Dry conditions will accelerate the rate of turnout post calving and lambing, allowing farmers to stretch straw reserves and avoid the need for further purchases.

However, a repeat of last spring would prolong housing requirements and ultimately lead to further increases in straw prices.

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