Farmers in the UK are set for a long winter, as hay and straw prices double, as reported by fginsight.com.
Like Ireland, the UK is currently facing shortages in the fodder department, with the recent weather having a bad effect on the harvest. Livestock farmers could face 'very long winter' as straw and hay prices double.
Wintery conditions in areas such as northern England, Northern Ireland and in Scotland, has seen a crisis develop as farmers hunt for supplies. Many farmers have been forced to house their animals earlier than usual, meaning they need more hay and straw to cope.
“It could be a very long winter. Supply and demand are completely out of balance at the moment.” said NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe.
Northern Ireland also have been badly affected, with a lot of flooding and prolonged rainfalls across the country. This has driven farmers, both sides of the border, to look for imports across the sea. Prices for such in countries like Spain, are up to £200 per tonne.
Reports have suggested that process have doubled at the first of the Tayler and Fletcher seasonal sales in Gloucestershire.
“They are the best prices for straw in many years and double that of last year,” said Adrian Cannon, rural partner,.
Prices for wheat straw have reached £150 per tonne, with meadow hay reaching a top price £130 per tonne. This compares to prices ranging from £66 to £85 per tonne paid last year. The quality of fodder has been praised, which many feel has aided to price increases. All fodders available on the day, saw a full clearance.
Adrian Cannon also said that unions are still encouraging farmers to buy up as much supplies as possible. He said although he understands that purchasing supplies will affect farmers’ bottom lines, but said having fodder is necessary.
Mr Cannon also suggested that farmers considering using substitutes, is another reason why prices have soared. He said the soaring hay prices was the “biggest surprise” of the auction.