Farmers are being urged to secure winter bedding supplies as the sawdust shortage hits its peak.

Managing director of EnviroSystems, Liz Russell, said the company had received increased calls and enquiries on the back of the sawdust shortage.

“We’ve had years like this in the past, and we invented EnviroBed in 2001 because of a shortage of bedding. Over the past two years, the bedding shortage has been building and has now come to a head,” she said.

“Every so often, bedding shortages happen, and we’re happy to be able to fill that gap for farmers when this happens.

“We encourage farmers to start thinking about their winter bedding supplies and, if they are struggling to secure supplies, to think of suitable alternative options.”

When looking at alternatives, Russell said farmers should make sure they know exactly what they are buying and check aspects such as the dry matters and what is actually contained within the product.

Tight supply

James Weaver

James Weaver, a dairy farmer from Rooms Farm, Market Drayton, said he enquired about receiving his supply of fine sawdust after placing an order earlier in the summer.

However, he said he was told that the supply was tight and that delivery could not be guaranteed.

EnviroSystems said the shortage is thought to be on the back of an increased volume supplying biomass plants in Europe, with supplies dwindling over the last couple of years. 

Weaver, who milks 300 Holsteins and usually stocks up with two artic loads of bedding before the winter, said he rang various other suppliers and was told a similar message.

“Each of the companies said they were struggling to supply sawdust, and on top of that, the price had also increased significantly,” he said.