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Getting Ready for Winter – Hauling Straw

29 September 2021

Good weather in September has meant harvest has progressed well across the countryside but there are concerns among livestock farmers of straw supplies (there are mixed reports of straw yields) and getting straw delivered home.  As we now head towards the winter housing period there are concerns that the ongoing HGV driver shortages impacting the industry could also affect hauliers delivering winter straw supplies to farms.

For those of you who rely on a haulier to haul straw supplies home for the winter now is the time to speak to hauliers to ensure you have straw stocks ready ahead of housing.

Important things to consider if relying on hauliers for straw;

  • Speak to your haulier in plenty time to ensure they are aware of your needs (how many bales to cart, are they square or round and locations etc.).
  • Ensure that you have supplies of straw sitting ready for housing or have sourced an alternative.  Don’t leave it until the last minute.
  • Think of all other options for carting straw.  Can you transport any home yourself?

As well as thinking about getting straw home, you should also consider straw storage to avoid unnecessary wastage.  Have you the space and materials to keep straw dry if you have to take more home at one time?

If you have yet to source straw then you should now be making contact with your usual supplier or farmer to make sure you have your name against bales.  Remember many arable farmers have incorporated straw back to fields this year so don’t be left clutching at straw this coming winter.  Equally if you are considering an alternative bedding material such as woodfines or another wood based product then you should be making contact with a supplier sooner rather than later as driver shortages are likely to be causing longer wait times for delivery.

For further reading on straw and the use of alternative materials please refer to the following;

You may also want to think about making contact with your feed supplier to ensure that you don’t run out of feed due to longer lead times.  Have some flexibility in thought of what feed you need and how much as although feed companies are generally happy with customers ordering in their usual pattern, HGV driver shortages have the potential to affect the delivery of raw materials to feed plants for processing.

Sarah Balfour,

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