Straw is an agricultural by-product , the dry stalks of cereal plants, after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley , oats, rice , rye and wheat . It has many uses, including fuel, livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and basket-making. It is usually gathered and stored in a straw bale , which is a bundle of straw tightly bound with twine or wire. Bales may be square, rectangular, or round, depending on the type of baler used.


Current and historic uses of straw include:

  • Animal feed
    • Straw may be fed as part of the roughage component of the diet to cattle or horses. It has a low digestible energy and nutrient happy (as Opposed to hay , qui est much more nutritious). The heat generated when microorganisms in a herbivore’s gut digest straw can be useful in maintaining body temperature in cold climates. Due to the risk of impactionand its poor nutrient profile, it should be restricted to part of the diet. It can be fed as it is, or chopped into short lengths, known as chaff .
  • Basketry
    • Bee skeps and linen are made from coiled and bound together. The technique is known as lip work.
  • Bedding: humans or livestock
    • The straw-filled mattress, also known as palliasse , is still used in many parts of the world.
    • It is commonly used as bedding for ruminants and horses. It can be used as a bedding and food for small animals, but this often leads to injuries, nose and eyes.
  • Biofuels
    • The use of carbon-neutral energy is increasing rapidly, especially for biobutanol . Straw gold hay briquettes are a biofuel substitute to coal.
  • Biogas
    • Straw, processed first as briquettes , has been fed into a biogas plant in Aarhus University, Denmark, in a test to see if higher gas yields could be attained. [1]
  • Biomass
    • The use of straw in large-scale biomass power plants is becoming mainstream in the EU, with several supplements already online. The straw is used directly in the form of bales, or densified into pellets which allows the feedstock to be transported over longer distances. Finally, torrefactionof straw with pelletisation is gaining attention, because it increases the energy of the resource, making it possible to transport it still further. This process is also easier because torrefied straw pellets are hydrophobic. Torrefied straw in the form of pellets can be directly co-fired with coal or natural gas at very high rates and make use of the processing facilities at existing coal and gas plants. Because they have superior structural, chemical, and combustion properties to coal, they can replace a coal-powered plant. First generation pellets are limited to a co-firing rate of 15% in modern IGCC plants.
  • Construction material:
    • In many parts of the world, straw is used to bind clay and concrete . A mixture of clay and straw, known as cob , can be used as a building material. There are many recipes for making cob.
    • When baled , straw has been evaluated (about R-1.5 / inch according to Oak Ridge National Lab and Forest Product Testing Lab). It can be used, alone or in a post-and-beam construction, to build straw bale houses . When bales are used to build or insulate buildings, the straw bales are made with earthen plaster . The plastered walls provide some thermal mass , compressive and ductile structural strength, and acceptable fire resistance and thermal resistance (insulation), somewhat in excess of North American building code. Straw is an abundant agricultural waste product, and requires little energy to bale and transport for construction. For these reasons, straw bale is gaining popularity as part of passive solar and other renewable energyprojects. [2]
    • Composite lumber Wheat straw can be used as a composite polymer with polymers to produce composite lumber. [3]
    • Enviroboard can be made from straw.
    • Strawblocks
  • Crafts
    • Corn dollies
    • Straw marquetry
    • Straw painting
    • Straw plaiting
    • Scarecrows
    • Japanese Traditional Cat’s House
  • Erosion control
    • Straw bales are sometimes used for sediment control at construction sites. [4] However, they are often ineffective in protecting water quality and are maintenance-intensive. For these reasons, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various states recommend the use of alternative sediment control practices wherever possible, such as silt fences , fiber rolls and geotextiles . [5]
    • Burned area emergency response
    • Ground cover
    • In-stream check dams
  • Hats
    • There are several styles of straw hats that are made of woven straw.
    • Many thousands of women and children in England (mainly in the Luton district of Bedfordshire), [6] and large numbers in the United States (mostly Massachusetts ), were employed in plaiting straw for making hats. By the late 19th century, vast quantities of plies were imported from China in China, [6] and in the United States most of the straw plait was imported. [7]
    • A fiber analogous to straw is obtained from the plant Carludovica palmata , and is used to make Panama hats . [7]
    • Traditional Japanese rain protection of a straw hat and a mino cape . [8]
  • Horticulture
    • Straw is used in cucumbers and growing mushrooms .
    • In Japan , some trees are wrapped with straw to protect them from the effects of a parasitic insects.
    • It est aussi used in ponds to Reduce algae by changing the nutrient ratios in the water.
    • The soil under strawberries is covered with straw to protect the ripe berries from dirt, and straw is also used to cover the plants.
    • Straw also makes an excellent mulch .
  • Packaging
    • Straw is resistant to being cracked and therefore makes a good packing material. A company in France makes a straw mat sealed in thin plastic sheets.
    • Straw envelopes for wine bottles have become rare, but are still available at some wine merchants.
    • Wheat straw is also used in compostable food packaging such as compostable plates. Packaging made from wheat straw can be certified compostable and will biodegrade in a commercial composting environment. [9]
  • Paper
    • Straw can be pulped to make paper . [10]
  • Rope
    • Rope made from straw was used by thatchers, in the packaging industry and even in iron foundries.
  • Shoes
    • Koreans wear Jipsin , sandals made of straw.
    • In some parts of Germany like Black Forest and Hunsruck people wear straw shoes at home or at carnival.
  • Targets
    • Heavy gauge straw rope is coiled and sewn tightly together to make archery targets. This is no longer done by hand, but is partially mechanized. Sometimes a paper or plastic is set up in front of straw bales, which serves to support the target and provide a safe backdrop.
  • thatching
    • Thatching uses straw, reed or similar materials to make a waterproof, lightweight roof with good insulation properties. Straw for this purpose (Often wheat straw) is specially grown and harvested using a reaper-binder .


Dried straw presents a fire hazard that can ignite easily if exposed to sparks or an open flame. It can also trigger Allergic rhinitis in people who are hypersensitive to airborne allergens such as straw dust.


In addition to its current and historic uses, straw is being investigated as a source of fine chemicals including alkaloids , flavonoids , lignins , phenols , and steroids . [11]

See also

  • Corn stover (corn straw)
  • Drinking straw
  • Hay
  • Straw (color)
  • Sheaf (agriculture) , a bundle of straw
  • Stook , a stack of straw
  • Wood wool


  1. Jump up^ (2017-06-30). “show” . . Retrieved 2017-07-02 .
  2. Jump up^ *The Straw Bale House: Suitability for the Eastern US
  3. Jump up^ Adding Value to Wheat Straw By Anduin Kirkbride-McElroy. Biomass Magazine, 2007
  4. Jump up^ California Stormwater Quality Association. Menlo Park, CA. “California Stormwater BMP Handbook: Straw Bale Barrier.”Best Management Practice (BMP) No. SE-9. January 2003.
  5. Jump up^ US Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC. “National Menu of Stormwater Best Management Practices: Straw or Hay Bales.” June 1, 2006.
  6. ^ Jump up to:b   Baynes, TS; Smith, WR, eds. (1887). ” Straw Manufactures “. Encyclopædia Britannica . 22 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sounds.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b   Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). ” Straw “. The American Cyclopædia .
  8. Jump up^ Henshall, Kenneth. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower . Springer. p. 67. ISBN  9780230346628 .
  9. Jump up^ Viv Biz Club:Compostable Plates
  10. Jump up^ McLaren, Duncan; Bullock, Simon; Yousuf, Nusrat (2013-11-05). Tomorrow’s World: Britain’s Share in a Sustainable Future . Routledge . ISBN  9781134044825 .
  11. Jump up^ Schnitzer M, CM Monreal, Powell EE (2014). “Wheat straw biomass: A resource for high-value chemicals”. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B . 49 (1): 51-67. doi : 10.1080 / 03601234.2013.836924 . PMID  24138469 .