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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Opinion: Good straw a good value alternative with silage bale prices up €10

In this article, a spokesperson for the Irish Grain Growers Group explains why they believe the value of straw needs close attention this harvest season.

Teagasc recently published figures show that the P and K value of straw has doubled to a tillage farmer since 2019. The extreme rise in fertiliser prices has led to this reality. Harvest is upon us, and decisions need to be made on straw.

Both the tillage farmer and the potential buyer of the straw need to know its value to the tillage farmer as a fertiliser as a starting point.

Straw bales

You must factor in that costs of handling straw have risen if deciding to bale straw for sale.

There is no point in removing straw from the soil if the economics do not add up, especially with the current cost of chemical fertiliser and the added benefits to the soil by incorporating it.

The vast majority of farmers will do business with their loyal regular customers. What also needs to be noted is bales of hay and silage being advertised for sale for at least €10/bale more than last year, thus making good quality straw a good value alternative this harvest.

The increase in applications for the Straw Incorporation Measure this year points to the fact that farmers are increasingly prepared to chop straw because they see the financial benefits of doing so.

Those that are trying to talk down the price of straw need to know many farmers will need very little convincing to turn on the chopper this year.

Other news:

In other IGGG-related news, previously one of its members, Niamh Hendy, says she is determined to show that tillage is a “welcoming environment” for women.

The fourth-generation tillage and beef farmer made the comment in response to figures which show that just 53 women across four counties took part in the KT tillage scheme.

That is according to information the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) received from a Freedom of Information request from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The DAFM provided the group with the following county breakdown:

  • Laois – 30;
  • Kilkenny – 18;
  • Kildare – 4;
  • Carlow – 1.

The group said that women made up just over 3,000 of the 19,000 participants in KT.

You can read more on this news article on That’s Farming.

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