Low fodder stocks and demand for feed quality barley straw have supported prices at UK hay and straw sales.
Auctioneer John Read, an associate partner at Carter Jonas’ Winchester Office, said their latest sale saw a large crowd of bidders and good clearances.
“There was a large crowd of bidders, with those from the South West and Wales coming in strongest,” he said. “That is fairly normal as these areas are strong on livestock farming but weaker on the arable enterprises that produce straw for animal bedding and feed.
“Additionally, BPS payments are largely on time this year, this coupled with the recent spell of wintry weather has encouraged potential purchasers with short feed supplies to look into increasing their remaining stocks.”
Barley straw was in strong demand, averaging £80/tonne, with demand for wheat straw also high.
“Trade for the limited supply of hay on offer remained strong, but there is still a shortage of good quality fodder available nationally,” Mr Read said.
Adrian Cannon, partner at Tayler and Fletcher, said a lack of availability and quality had maintained prices.
“Our latest sale went very well,” he said. “It continued to maintain prices.
“Straw is around to £50/t, meadow hay is averaging £150/t and barley has been held up by the hay price at around £70/t.”
Mr Cannon said the weather this season had made it quite difficult to get any ‘significant yields’, increasing demand and limiting availability.
A number of new buyers had been seen at the sale and he was optimistic for the next sale in February.