Straw Prices

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
In any case, its not a fact that any farmer has healthier animals because he uses straw instead of rushes. In any case of calf welfare that you mention, the problem is that the farmer isn't using enough bedding (regardless of the type) to keep calves clean and dry.

We calve 60+ cows here. Average winter in the shed is 6 month +. Calves spend more time in bedded creep areas than the average calf across the country. We have a pretty respectable calf health record that I won't detail here but can detail for you in a pm if you don't believe me. We bed with rushes and more rushes and always ensure that the calf never has to lie in any type of dampness. Its a brilliant source of bedding that breaks down and composts easily if you follow some basic principles when using it. Bale for bale, it won't go as far as straw, but its a free aside from the cost of baling.
Seriously interested in rushes as bedding. If they were mowed down with a flail instead of a disc or drum mower would they dry quicker/soak more?
There are an abundance of them in the country doing nobody any good yet they could help solve a serious problem on farms.
Issues I see are seeds. It's hard to convince anyone to use them as noone wants rush seeds on their land though in all likely hood the soil is full of them already.
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
Seriously interested in rushes as bedding. If they were mowed down with a flail instead of a disc or drum mower would they dry quicker/soak more?
There are an abundance of them in the country doing nobody any good yet they could help solve a serious problem on farms.
Issues I see are seeds. It's hard to convince anyone to use them as noone wants rush seeds on their land though in all likely hood the soil is full of them already.
The flail mower would work. A neighbor chopped square bales for us for calves with a little square bale chopper a good few years ago. It was ok stuff. But rushes will break down very well when taken out of the bale - it's more rigid than straw, so they'll snap rather than bend.

Funny, we have spread our dungstead across the same 20 acres for the last 4 or 5 years and it has remained rush free. We would be covering about 6 or 7 acres every year. Its beside the shed and there doesn't be a lot in it when it is composted, so it is brought out with the power box and levelled. Hydrated lime and composting it is the key to ensuring the seeds don't come through.
 

Nashty

Well-Known Member

Where do you get all these bales of free rushes lads?

I had a conversation with a dairy farming mate re straw prices recently, he told me that if a bale of straw for 50 euro per round bale he would still pay it to bed his calves. For three reasons he said => 1. He has no sheds to store straw or bedding himself and he is quiet happy to pay whatever the cost of straw is in the spring as and when he wants it and he is aware that the tillage farmers and straw dealers had to house it for the winter. Unlikely that anyone baling rushes for sale would have sheds to house them! 2. Respiratory health of the calves which is second to none he reckoned with good straw and they seem to like eating some of it too he said. 3. Finds the dung very good when he is reseeding ground once it has been left to rot for a good while.

Twas hard argue with him to be fair.
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member

Where do you get all these bales of free rushes lads?

I had a conversation with a dairy farming mate re straw prices recently, he told me that if a bale of straw for 50 euro per round bale he would still pay it to bed his calves. For three reasons he said => 1. He has no sheds to store straw or bedding himself and he is quiet happy to pay whatever the cost of straw is in the spring as and when he wants it and he is aware that the tillage farmers and straw dealers had to house it for the winter. Unlikely that anyone baling rushes for sale would have sheds to house them! 2. Respiratory health of the calves which is second to none he reckoned with good straw and they seem to like eating some of it too he said. 3. Finds the dung very good when he is reseeding ground once it has been left to rot for a good while.

Twas hard argue with him to be fair.
But the straw is a tiny cost to his business as he only uses a tiny amount. Why risk change to save pennies. Its big users who have to adopt.
 

Nashty

Well-Known Member
But the straw is a tiny cost to his business as he only uses a tiny amount. Why risk change to save pennies. Its big users who have to adopt.
He has a lot of cows, and consequently, a lot of calves, I'd say he buys approx. 150 bales, not huge but enough to be a good barometer for other farmers who are buying straw for bedding.
 

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
He has a lot of cows, and consequently, a lot of calves, I'd say he buys approx. 150 bales, not huge but enough to be a good barometer for other farmers who are buying straw for bedding.
In his situation it makes sense, what he'll save on straw wouldn't pay for storage, plus straw is a nicer bed for calves and cows calving.
I wouldn't necessarily replace straw with rushes in that situation, but say for loose bedding the milking herd 7 to 10 kgs of straw per cow per day, each cow is requiring tons of straw, if I could replace that with a cheap alternative why not?
Straw isn't necessarily that expensive as it is expensive to move, to get any great amount I'd have to lorry it up from the South East, which will cost me 800 a load on transport alone, rushes next to me would save that cost.
I also see alot of "farmers" here mulch their land because the rushes prevent them getting the grassland payments. So they pay to get rid of them. You could probably put the arm in and get payed to mow it and get the material off of it for bedding, though more realistically I'd say a deal could be struck in mowing for material. There is loads of it around me 100s of thousands of tons of rushes.
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member
He has a lot of cows, and consequently, a lot of calves, I'd say he buys approx. 150 bales, not huge but enough to be a good barometer for other farmers who are buying straw for bedding.
For 150 bales by a €10 too much, is the value of one of his replacement heifers that he could have gotten to the parlour. If his current system is working, I would be slow to change.

For someone using allot of straw and not using it on your most precious animals, you have to seek alternatives when price is above 20, the benefits of the extra cost don't outweigh
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member

Where do you get all these bales of free rushes lads?

I had a conversation with a dairy farming mate re straw prices recently, he told me that if a bale of straw for 50 euro per round bale he would still pay it to bed his calves. For three reasons he said => 1. He has no sheds to store straw or bedding himself and he is quiet happy to pay whatever the cost of straw is in the spring as and when he wants it and he is aware that the tillage farmers and straw dealers had to house it for the winter. Unlikely that anyone baling rushes for sale would have sheds to house them! 2. Respiratory health of the calves which is second to none he reckoned with good straw and they seem to like eating some of it too he said. 3. Finds the dung very good when he is reseeding ground once it has been left to rot for a good while.

Twas hard argue with him to be fair.
I have a neighbor with 20 round bales in a field just below my house. He has offered them for free to anyone that wants them, otherwise he will be burning them.

Many people around here that use rushes for bedding will have a mix of rushes and hay in the bale - the calves will eat the hay out of it.

Respiratory health will be down to what's in the bale - there's no reason why rushes is not as healthy as straw. Baled on your own farm, you can ensure that rush bales are good quality.

There's plenty of crap bales of straw that come about this area too - bales that you'd need a respirator on when you are opening them.

As for spreading rush seed - what happens to the weeds in barley/oat/wheat crops? They get baled up in the straw and they are spread out on land across the country - great stuff to have in your reseed. You don't see rushes growing in good land, but the weeds that grow in barley oats or wheat thrives in good quality land.
 

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
The flail mower would work. A neighbor chopped square bales for us for calves with a little square bale chopper a good few years ago. It was ok stuff. But rushes will break down very well when taken out of the bale - it's more rigid than straw, so they'll snap rather than bend.

Funny, we have spread our dungstead across the same 20 acres for the last 4 or 5 years and it has remained rush free. We would be covering about 6 or 7 acres every year. Its beside the shed and there doesn't be a lot in it when it is composted, so it is brought out with the power box and levelled. Hydrated lime and composting it is the key to ensuring the seeds don't come through.
What's the composting process? Are you turning it or just let it rot on its own?
 

Rebelman

Well-Known Member
Harvest has hardly begun and already I’m sorry that I didn’t put more acres into the Straw Incorporation Scheme. One customer who had said he’d take the same quantity as last year now wants a hundred less cos he has a lot left over since last year. Couldn’t I have been told this before the day I was baling it….. I’m sure he knew what was left over all through the Summer 🤬🤬. Turned away people out of the field yesterday because i thought it was all gone. Now I know to some big operators here 100 bales is a small quantity but to me it’s huge and now the headache of trying to find a home for them. This is the second time this year a neighbouring farmer has gone back on a deal with me…maybe I’m naive but I’ve never gone back on my word with someone and trust me there’s been plenty of times I would have liked to.
 

MF30

Well-Known Member
Harvest has hardly begun and already I’m sorry that I didn’t put more acres into the Straw Incorporation Scheme. One customer who had said he’d take the same quantity as last year now wants a hundred less cos he has a lot left over since last year. Couldn’t I have been told this before the day I was baling it….. I’m sure he knew what was left over all through the Summer 🤬🤬. Turned away people out of the field yesterday because i thought it was all gone. Now I know to some big operators here 100 bales is a small quantity but to me it’s huge and now the headache of trying to find a home for them. This is the second time this year a neighbouring farmer has gone back on a deal with me…maybe I’m naive but I’ve never gone back on my word with someone and trust me there’s been plenty of times I would have liked to.
I’d say he reckons it’ll be cheaper next year so will buy the bare minimum this year. Whatever he gets this year should also be his allowance for next year, if any at all.
 

Nashty

Well-Known Member
Harvest has hardly begun and already I’m sorry that I didn’t put more acres into the Straw Incorporation Scheme. One customer who had said he’d take the same quantity as last year now wants a hundred less cos he has a lot left over since last year. Couldn’t I have been told this before the day I was baling it….. I’m sure he knew what was left over all through the Summer 🤬🤬. Turned away people out of the field yesterday because i thought it was all gone. Now I know to some big operators here 100 bales is a small quantity but to me it’s huge and now the headache of trying to find a home for them. This is the second time this year a neighbouring farmer has gone back on a deal with me…maybe I’m naive but I’ve never gone back on my word with someone and trust me there’s been plenty of times I would have liked to.
Don't be stuck, there are those of us happy to buy it instead of him!
 

KTM 450

Well-Known Member
I have a neighbor with 20 round bales in a field just below my house. He has offered them for free to anyone that wants them, otherwise he will be burning them.

Many people around here that use rushes for bedding will have a mix of rushes and hay in the bale - the calves will eat the hay out of it.

Respiratory health will be down to what's in the bale - there's no reason why rushes is not as healthy as straw. Baled on your own farm, you can ensure that rush bales are good quality.

There's plenty of crap bales of straw that come about this area too - bales that you'd need a respirator on when you are opening them.

As for spreading rush seed - what happens to the weeds in barley/oat/wheat crops? They get baled up in the straw and they are spread out on land across the country - great stuff to have in your reseed. You don't see rushes growing in good land, but the weeds that grow in barley oats or wheat thrives in good quality land.
I can’t agree with your last paragraph Muckymanor, you must think tillage lads grow rubbish. There is a hell of a lot of money goes into chemicals to keep crops good and clean. Plus I walk all mine before harvest to rouge any wild oats etc that show up.
Try finding a weed in my photos attached.
Rushes are a weed in my view, I don’t have any TG.
 

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marco

Well-Known Member
Harvest has hardly begun and already I’m sorry that I didn’t put more acres into the Straw Incorporation Scheme. One customer who had said he’d take the same quantity as last year now wants a hundred less cos he has a lot left over since last year. Couldn’t I have been told this before the day I was baling it….. I’m sure he knew what was left over all through the Summer 🤬🤬. Turned away people out of the field yesterday because i thought it was all gone. Now I know to some big operators here 100 bales is a small quantity but to me it’s huge and now the headache of trying to find a home for them. This is the second time this year a neighbouring farmer has gone back on a deal with me…maybe I’m naive but I’ve never gone back on my word with someone and trust me there’s been plenty of times I would have liked to.
I presume your in cork otherwise I'd take a load off you
 

Masseyrk662

Well-Known Member
I had 282 bales of straw in the 40 acres of winter barley, judging by reports from other members here that’s not a good yield but I’m new to the winter cereal game. It was all tedded, there really was no need but As gone says it’s hard raise your parents the way you want. The whole lot is sold and gone at 25 Euro a bale off the field. Everyone was happy to pay that price, a few people rang and said they could not give any more than 20 a bale and I said that’s fine i can’t let it go for that. One man told me I was way off the mark I was far too dear and I told him I don’t tell him he’s way too dear when he’s bragging on the pub about selling some calf’s for 350 and more. A co-op I have nothing to do with rang me this evening offering 23 Euro a bale for whatever amount of barley straw I have in the spring crop so god knows what they will want
 

MF30

Well-Known Member
I had 282 bales of straw in the 40 acres of winter barley, judging by reports from other members here that’s not a good yield but I’m new to the winter cereal game. It was all tedded, there really was no need but As gone says it’s hard raise your parents the way you want. The whole lot is sold and gone at 25 Euro a bale off the field. Everyone was happy to pay that price, a few people rang and said they could not give any more than 20 a bale and I said that’s fine i can’t let it go for that. One man told me I was way off the mark I was far too dear and I told him I don’t tell him he’s way too dear when he’s bragging on the pub about selling some calf’s for 350 and more. A co-op I have nothing to do with rang me this evening offering 23 Euro a bale for whatever amount of barley straw I have in the spring crop so god knows what they will want
Don’t mind lads running down your price, they want it for nothing. I had hay for sale this year and a dealer rang, told me he couldn’t make money out of the hay at the price I wanted and offered me a fiver less. I replied I couldn’t make money out of the hay at the price he offered and it’d be better for everyone if I hung up the phone now so as not to waste anyone’s time. He was silent for a few seconds and then took my advice, and hung up.
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
I can’t agree with your last paragraph Muckymanor, you must think tillage lads grow rubbish. There is a hell of a lot of money goes into chemicals to keep crops good and clean. Plus I walk all mine before harvest to rouge any wild oats etc that show up.
Try finding a weed in my photos attached.
Rushes are a weed in my view, I don’t have any TG.
With respect, I never stated that tillage lads grow rubbish and I never accused you or any individual of growing rubbish. However, you can't deny that weeds grow in some crops. You even admit that you chemically treat them but this chemical treatment doesn't always mean that the seed is killed and some of it inevitability ends up in the straw. Its a fact of life. It doesn't mean that a crop is rubbish. You re the only one who mentioned crops being rubbish.

And yes, I totally agree with you. Rush is a weed, but a weed that can be utilized for bedding. Its very easy for someone to say that rush is a poor bedding, or bad for the respiratory system, or spreads weed seed etc. etc. if they have never used it. Before the invention of the baler, half the country that didn't grow a crop. They bedded cattle in sheds and byres with whatever was available locally. The onset of the demo farms that were mostly based in areas of good quality land did research into the benefits of bedding with straw and peddled it through their info offices all across the country telling farmers that straw was the only suitable material for bedding cattle or sheep. But they never researched or demonstrated the bedding that was freely available in areas that don't grow crops.

It doesnt sit well with some people because it doesn't leave farmers dependent on them, but rush is a viable alternative for bedding cattle in this part of the country as opposed to buying straw for 20 euro per bale and hauling it 100+ miles.
 
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muckymanor

Well-Known Member
Transport is the absolute killer in the finally price.
CB was delivering meal to me yesterday and talked about bale transport. Says that 2 years ago he was asking €12 a bale to haul hay or straw up to 100 miles. With diesel and cost increase he would need to ask more now but he just doesn't take on bale haulage anymore because it's impossible to collect money for it.
 
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