High stocks of fodder and the mild winter had subdued the Hay and Straw markets, but some good prices were achieved at the 69th January Newbury Hay and Straw sale held on Thursday 23rd January.
Auctioneer John Read, associate partner at Carter Jonas, took the rostrum at Newbury Rugby Club to oversee 2,400 tonnes go under the hammer.
Timing of the sale coincided with an improving trade for straw. Continuing wet weather has prevented winter drilling of cereals in some parts of the UK, putting pressure on straw merchants ahead of next year’s harvest.
John Read, associate partner, Carter Jonas, said: “There was a large crowd of bidders, with those from the South West and Wales coming in strongest. This is fairly normal, as these areas are strong on livestock farming but weaker on the arable enterprises that produce straw for animal bedding and feed.
“Barley straw was in demand and averaged the equivalent of £59 per tonne to match the current trade with Church Farms of Porton, Salisbury topping the barley trade at the equivalent of £70 a tonne for winter barley.
“Trade for wheat straw was strong and exceeded expectations averaging at £64.50 per tonne equivalent. Top price for wheat straw on the day was £75 per tonne by R Hutt and Partners of Pinkneys Green near Maidenhead with the bright straw destined for an equine yard.”
Read concluded: “Whilst there were few lots of straw unsold, trade for the hay on offer remained subdued with plenty of fodder still available following a bumper harvest. Top prices achieved were for conventional bales of Rye Grass Hay at £100 per tonne equivalent for John Booth of Winterbourne near Newbury. Averages for hay remained significantly back on last year at £67.25 per tonne.
“Our next sale is on Thursday March 5th and much will depend on the weather in the coming weeks.”