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.”