There is a huge variation in straw prices across the country. Prices out of the field are ranging from €13/bale (4X4) to €22/bale. The lowest price reported is from Co Wexford, where cereal area outstrips demand.

As straw travels to the west and northwest, it hits €25-30/bale. In counties Tyrone and Down, straw travelling from the south is landing in yards for £23 (€27)/bale. This is behind where it was last year at £25-26 (€29-31)/bale.

Twenty euro per bale was a freely available price last season where straw was scarce.

However, even where straw prices have reduced, many people will still be paying a similar price when it lands in their yards, as haulage costs have increased significantly to around €10-14/bale depending on location.


Demand does seem to be back on last season. However, there are still plenty of farmers eager to buy winter barley straw at the higher end of the market, to secure quality stocks for the winter from crops which were harvested in ideal conditions.

Weather turned at the weekend and earlier this week, which will make baling difficult in some places. Where heavy rain fell, turning may be needed and baling will be delayed.

Meanwhile, 2,800ha of winter barley straw were entered into the Straw Incorporation Measure this year, but tillage farmers are reporting that they will chop above and beyond what they entered into the scheme as the value of P and K in the straw is so high.

Almost 4% of the winter barley area is to be chopped, while around 55% of the winter oat straw and 75% of winter oilseed rape straw will be chopped in the coming weeks.