Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Don’t bale out of keeping stock in good condition

Farmers sitting on stocks of hay and straw must be despairing at current market prices.

A large supply of both hay and straw has been met with slack demand given the kind weather during the autumn. In some cases hay has been trading with no or little margin over the cost of producing it where some farmers have needed to sell to clear a space in the barn.

Last winter we saw how quickly the weather went from benign to malevolent. The balmy summer and warm autumn this year, with no sign of frost before the start of November, may have prompted many to forget those hard times unless they are facing the financial consequences as they wait for flood grant payments.

The weather is always the big factor in determining the winter market. A late spring can always stimulate demand and over time supply and demand will balance out.

It’s essential that farmers holding hay and straw stocks need to take great care to make sure they are well stored to prevent weather and vermin damage. Outside stacks of straw are always best sold early in the season as quite often no amount of sheeting ever seems to prevent water getting in.

Our first sale of the season will be held on 4th December at Newbury Rugby Club with an entry of some 800 tonnes lying in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.

The auction system has the benefit of testing the market and generally allows a larger quantity to be sold in one go. Another key benefit is that payment is made in the saleroom at the fall of the hammer.

John read carter jonas


Associate Partner

John joined the firm in 2002 and is involved in a wide range of professional areas. He has particular expertise in valuations of farms and estates for lending and taxation purposes, agricultural landl...

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