Straw is a valuable resource that can be utilized in many different ways. Depending on actual needs, straw can be a valuable organic fertilizer that can help increase crop yields.
On farms that produce only grain, straw is often a major problem. Unmanaged straw generates costs that can significantly reduce profitability. How to deal with it? What else can you use straw for?
Every plant, including cereals, needs an adequate supply of micro- and macro-nutrients in order to grow. Their lack can slow down the growth, and in extreme cases, even stop it completely. When no animals are raised on a farm, we do not have access to manure and slurry. In such situations, the best organic fertilizer turns out to be straw. Its nutritional value depends on the species of plant from which it is produced, but the following values can be taken as an average.
As you can see, these are relatively large amounts that are sure to keep your grain growing properly. However, it is worth remembering that straw needs a relatively long time to decompose and return valuable components to the soil. Under favourable conditions, this is approximately 200 days. However, to achieve this result, the straw needs to be properly prepared.
As you can see, several mistakes can be made during straw preparation that will delay valuable nutrients from entering the soil. The more careful you are with fertilizing, the better the results will be.
One of the most common methods farmers use is to apply nitrogen or calcium. These elements significantly accelerate the decomposition of straw in the soil. Obviously, this involves additional costs, but in most cases, the treatment is worthwhile. In the case of livestock farms, liquid manure and slurry are also used, which also shorten the decomposition time of the straw in the soil. This has the advantage of significantly lower costs.
When animals are raised on a farm, then straw can be used as bedding. Its amount depends on the species of animals and, above all, on their number. Of course, straw as bedding must be replaced regularly. How else can straw be used?
In many regions you can find tar collectors. Unfortunately, they do not always offer a high price. In situations when there is a lot of straw on the market, prices fall drastically and selling it turns out to be unprofitable. In such situations, one should consider another way of utilizing this raw material. Having good quality straw, we should have no problem selling it, for example to a farm where cattle are bred.
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