Farmers urged to bale rape straw

ARABLE farmers are being urged to bale all available straw including rape straw, to assist livestock producers who are facing a serious shortage of bedding.

The National Pig Association (NPA) issued a rallying call to arable farmers in the wake of the drought’s devastating impact on crops.

NPA producer group chairman Howard Revell said: “There is going to be significant straw deficit in the eastern half of England and we need all arable farmers to go the extra mile to help keep their pig farmer customers in business.”

Pig-keepers are already paying record prices for straw and are worried there simply won’t be enough to go round. England’s pig farmers rely heavily on straw. They use over 350,000 tonnes a year.

A number of alternative products are available when straw is in short supply, for instance pea straw, woodchips and sawdust. But the most successful alternative is rape straw.

Mr Revell added: “Many arable farmers would not normally think about baling their rape straw but this year they will almost certainly find it worth doing.

 “The pig industry is an important customer of Britain’s arable farmers and we are relying on them to help us through this difficult period.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • I am currently using chopped rape straw as horse bedding because shavings are so expensive.
    So rape straw definitely worth lifting off the field.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We farm as well as run a farm finance company, and used rape straw last Winter for our suckler cows; it was great value for money, particularly if alternated with wheat straw.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Has anyone used Miscanthus - supposed to be far more absorbent than wheat straw ? Several farmers in Cornwall grow it for the sole purpose.
    Call RE Crops - 01984 656606 for supplies

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Register your email address for Farmers Guardian e-bulletins

Get the latest from Farmers Guardian delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to sign-up today

Already receiving bulletins? Sign-in to edit your preferences