For other uses, see Straw (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with hay or drinking straw.
Large round bales
Bundles of rice straw
Pile of "small square" straw bales, sheltered under a tarpaulin
Straw or hay briquettes are a biofuel substitute to coal

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:

Belarusian Straw Dolls
Easter bunny made of Straw
Belarusian Straw Bird


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.[9]

See also


  2. Adding Value to Wheat Straw By Anduin Kirkbride-McElroy. Biomass Magazine, 2007
  3. California Stormwater Quality Association. Menlo Park, CA. “California Stormwater BMP Handbook: Straw Bale Barrier.” Best Management Practice (BMP) No. SE-9. January 2003.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC. "National Menu of Stormwater Best Management Practices: Straw or Hay Bales." June 1, 2006.
  5. 1 2  Baynes, T.S.; Smith, W.R., eds. (1887). "Straw Manufactures". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (9th ed.).
  6. 1 2  Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Straw". The American Cyclopædia.
  7. Viv Biz Club: Compostable Plates
  8. Schnitzer M, Monreal CM, 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.
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