NPA warns of straw shortages

Arable farmers are being urged to bale all available straw this year, as the National Pig Association (NPA) warned of serious straw shortages for pig farmers.

Pig-keepers are already paying record prices for straw and there are worries that there will not be enough to go round.

The extremely dry spring weather and ongoing threat of drought has caused an early straw harvest, resulting in the straw being shorter than usual.

Howard Revell, chairman of the NPA producer group, 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.

“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.”

England’s pig farmers use over 350,000 tonnes of straw a year. Alternatives include pea straw, woodchips and sawdust, but the most successful alternative is rape straw.

Arable farmers who have cereal or rape straw to sell are invited to contact the NPA so their details can be made available to NPA members.

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