Farm Advisor Teaches Rice Farmers to Spin Straw into Drought “Gold”

“Strawlage” is the name given to a technique used to preserve rice straw in an edible form for cattle consumption. The technique involves bailing damp rice straw and keeping it moist and under tarps until it is presented to the cattle.

The article cites Peter Robinson, a UCCE specialist in the Department of Animal Science at Davis, “(Because of the drought) there’s going to be a significant problem with feed coming into this winter and rice strawlage may be an answer.”

“It didn’t feed as good as silage, but it fed better than normal straw”, said one attendee to the field day event. In any event, Strawlage was better than nothing.

Capitol Press quotes Roy Sandoval, a Colusa County, Calif., rice and alfalfa grower, who disagrees. He has been making rice strawlage for about seven years and says cows love it. “It’s silage – that’s what it is,” he said. “It’s sweet.”

“With the drought conditions as serious as they are, we feel the time is right to share our research with growers”, said Mr. Nader.

We definitely agree that this a much better use than burning the rice straw which was practiced until air quality concerns brought that practice to an end.