Straw has been used since ancient times as bedding for animals. As we know from our grandparents, it is a natural, biological, and ecological product that is clearly superior to other alternative products on the market (wood pellets, bentonite, silicate). The straws are carefully selected and through the baling technological process, they are chopped, aerated, and pressed.
How much does a bale of straw cost?
A bale of straw that contains alfalfa mix costs anywhere between $2 and $2.50, while for a small square bale of straw without alfalfa you will have to pay anywhere between $6 and $10. The price per bale of straw will depend on various factors such as the current market conditions, size, whether it contains alfalfa and its type.
Plan on spending anywhere between $40 and $60 for a large round bale of straw. If you were to purchase by the ton, it would be anywhere between $95 and $110.
There are also bales of pine straw, that are made of naturally shed pine needles and seeds. A small bale of this ranges anywhere between $7 and $10.
The price of a bale of wheat straw is approximately $6 for a full trailer load.
Shipping service and other related additional expenses
If you are not able to pick up the bales of straw from the seller, you may need help with the transportation and in this case, you will have to pay the shipping fees. If you pick it up yourself the fuel price is variable based on mileage.
Rental of shelter or barn space, if necessary, for storing and safeguarding bales, can range from $50 to $200 per month, depending on the size of the open or closed space.
Additionally, you may need pallets or materials to elevate bales off damp ground, typically ranging between $5 and $10 per pallet.
Bale of straw variety
The size of a standard bale of straw is 18” X 14”, but, depending on the baler, the length may vary. Some of the most popular lengths are 48 and 36 inches.
A smaller bale of straw would be enough to cover a surface of 2,000 square feet.
You can purchase a small bale of straw from most nurseries and landscape home improvement stores. But if you need many large bales of straw, you will have to search for these at a local supplier or online via related classified ad websites or Craigslist. You can contact local farmers because most of them will be able to offer you some for sale.
Usually, decorative straw is bailed individually and is tied and packed with a wire.
Straw is different from hay in the fact that it makes a better mulch for your garden. In other words, straw is the stems or the stalks of grains from oats, barley, and wheat once these have been harvested. On the other hand, hay is the grass that was cut and dried for use as feed for animals.
Important things to consider
If you want to start growing vegetables in the garden, but the soil is of poor quality, you can practice cultivation in straw bales. This method is a new one that is expanding rapidly. Cultivating vegetables or aromatic plants in bales is a recently promoted technique for agriculture in small spaces or as a unique gardening option.
At the same time, the “straw bale garden” is also the ideal method for concrete spaces or where the soil cannot provide good or healthy production. This technique is very different from soil culture and should be considered as a method of culture in a container. Each bale of straw can be considered a growing container.
Straw bales can also be used to build houses. This is a cost-effective option for those who do not have the necessary financial resources for a modern alternative and are willing to take care of the walls and roof.
Straw bales are generally used in the concept to fill the wooden structure of the house, strong enough to support the roof and walls. They can be used for building load-bearing walls, the weight of the roof being in this case supported by bales, although this option is used less often.
Built from natural materials, good for the environment and for the human body, and available at affordable prices, houses made of straw bales are quite a popular trend among enthusiasts and communities of eco homes, with low consumption of resources.
How is a house made from bales of straw?
Tips for saving money
Sometimes, when the mold gets to the bales of straw, you can get them for free. These can no longer be used for animals if they have mold and some farmers may give them for free. Check for this opportunity in the free section on Craigslist.
Keep an eye on the local farmers who have recently harvested their cereals. When clearing the area, they will just sell the bales of straw at a lower cost.
In case you are able to buy locally, you will probably be able to transport the bales of straw yourself in the nearby and avoid the shipping fees.