Enquiries from dairy farmers for barley seed have increased as farmers move to avoid a repeat of this winter’s straw shortage.

A midlands merchant told the Irish Farmers Journal that farmers are looking to have 15ac or 20ac of corn just to fulfil their own straw requirements.

“It would make sense that this will happen. Farmers are renting ground for nitrates reasons only and probably don’t need the grass or silage. The chances are that some will grow barley,” a Tipperary-based seed rep said.

A Cork-based contractor said that while there is still some silage available in his area, straw is very hard got.

“An artic load of straw came in on a curtainsider from England last week to a farmer and he gave €250/t for it, delivered. He said he’d rather pay that for it than not have it.”