Usually the little straw markets – the farmers produce mainly for themselves – and not worth much. But the episode of extraordinary drought that occurred over recent weeks the agricultural sector is now giving him an unexpected value. Because as a result of lack of water, pasture or hay, which usually serve to feed the animals, are shrinking. In some departments, the authorities have even allowed farmers mowing road shoulders to get the grass.
A shortage that boosted demand for straw, used as a last resort by the farmers to feed their animals. "Straw is very poor nutritionally. Therefore it is mostly used in winter when other forage is less abundant.The drought pushed some farmers to type in their inventory now, at the risk of being caught off guard next year, "said Christian Huyghe, deputy scientific director at INRA. The fear of running out of straw in winter is pushing farmers to make reservations, making unusually higher prices.
Merchants straw batent campaign
"Given its low nutrient content, we believe that one ton of straw is worth no more than 25 euros," says Patrick Augustus, the union of grain AGPB. These days, she sometimes minting up to 60 euros. "In many departments, grain show solidarity, concluding contracts on the basis of prices below 20 euros.But it is true that merchants also straw struggling campaign, acquiring the straw around 40 euros per tonne in the hope of selling even more expensive in a few months, "says Philippe Pinta, vice president of the FNSEA.
Prices should still be soft this summer, when the marketing of the next harvest. "Given the drought, farmers who believe that harvesting the straw will have a lot less than they expected, predicts Patrick Augustus. And also as the grain will also see their incomes drop because they will get less grain, some might choose to catch up by selling straw at high prices. "
Photo credits: PASCAL Pavan / AFP