Straw
Overview
 
Straw is an agricultural by-product
By-product
A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced.A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste....

, the dry stalks of cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 plants, after the grain
GRAIN
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

 and chaff
Chaff
Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw...

 have been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, oat
Oat
The common oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name . While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed...

s, rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

 and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. 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
Straw
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...

 tightly bound with twine or wire.
Encyclopedia
Straw is an agricultural by-product
By-product
A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced.A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste....

, the dry stalks of cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 plants, after the grain
GRAIN
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

 and chaff
Chaff
Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw...

 have been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, oat
Oat
The common oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name . While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed...

s, rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

 and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. 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
Straw
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...

 tightly bound with twine or wire. Bales may be square, rectangular, or round, depending on the type of baler
Baler
A baler is a piece of farm machinery used to compress a cut and raked crop into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store...

 used.

Uses

Current and historic uses of straw include:
  • Animal feed
    Fodder
    Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

    • Straw may be fed as part of the roughage component of the diet to cattle or horses that are on a near maintenance level of energy requirement. It has a low digestible energy and nutrient content. 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 impaction and its poor nutrient profile, it should always be restricted to part of the diet. It may be fed as it is, or chopped into short lengths, known as chaff
      Chaff
      Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw...

      .

  • Basketry
    • Bee skeps
      Beehive (beekeeping)
      A beehive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species of the subgenus Apis live and raise their young. Natural beehives are naturally occurring structures occupied by honeybee colonies, while domesticated honeybees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary. These man-made...

       and linen baskets are made from coiled and bound together continuous lengths of straw. The technique is known as lip work.

  • Bedding: humans or livestock
    Livestock
    Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

    • 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 may be used as bedding and food for small animals, but this often leads to injuries to mouth, nose and eyes as straw is quite sharp.

  • Biofuel
    Biofuel
    Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

    s
    • The use of straw as a carbon-neutral energy source is increasing rapidly, especially for biobutanol. Straw or hay briquettes are a biofuel substitute to coal.

  • Biomass
    Biomass
    Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel....

    • The use of straw in large-scale biomass power plants is becoming mainstream in the EU, with several facilities already online. The straw is either used directly in the form of bales, or densified into pellets which allows for the feedstock to be transported over longer distances. Finally, torrefaction
      Torrefaction
      Torrefaction of biomass can be described as a mild form of pyrolysis at temperatures typically ranging between 200-320 °C. During torrefaction the biomass properties are changed to obtain a much better fuel quality for combustion and gasification applications...

       of straw with pelletisation is gaining attention, because it increases the energy density of the resource, making it possible to transport it still further. This processing step also makes storage much 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 infrastructures at existing coal and gas plants. Because the torrefied straw pellets have superior structural, chemical and combustion properties to coal, they can replace all coal and turn a coal plant into an entirely biomass-fed power station. First generation pellets are limited to a co-firing rate of 15% in modern IGCC plants.

  • Construction material: bricks / cob
    • In many parts of the world, straw is used to bind clay and concrete
      Concrete
      Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

      . A mixture of clay and straw, known as cob
      Cob (building)
      Cob or cobb or clom is a building material consisting of clay, sand, straw, water, and earth, similar to adobe. Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity, and inexpensive...

      , can be used as a building material. There are many recipes for making cob.
    • When baled
      Baler
      A baler is a piece of farm machinery used to compress a cut and raked crop into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store...

      , straw has excellent insulation characteristics. It can be used, alone or in a post-and-beam construction, to build straw bale houses
      Straw-bale construction
      Straw-bale construction is a building method that uses bales of straw as structural elements, building insulation, or both...

      . When bales are used to build or insulate
      Thermal insulation
      Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

       buildings, the straw bales are commonly finished with plaster. The plastered walls provide excellent thermal mass
      Thermal mass
      Thermal mass is a concept in building design which describes how the mass of the building provides "inertia" against temperature fluctuations, sometimes known as the thermal flywheel effect...

      , compressive and ductile structural strength, and excellent fire resistance as well as thermal resistance (insulation), far in excess of North American building code
      Building code
      A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the...

      . Straw is an abundant agricultural waste product, and requires little energy to bale and transport for construction. For these reasons, strawbale construction is gaining popularity as part of passive solar and other renewable energy
      Renewable energy
      Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

       projects.
    • Enviroboard
      Enviroboard
      Enviroboard is a construction panel, generally manufactured using compressed ecologically safe sourced material. Most often this means employing the use of agricultural waste fibres, such as the post-harvest straw of rice, barley, wheat, and elephant grass or alternatively, a more urban waste...

       can be made from straw.
    • Strawblocks
      Strawblocks
      Strawblocks are strawbales that have been recompressed to the density of wood blocks for compact cargo container shipment, or for straw-bale construction of load-bearing walls that support roof-loads, as from a "living" or green roofs.-References:*...


  • Crafts
    Arts and crafts
    Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicrafts or "traditional crafts" and "the rest"...

    • Corn dollies
      Corn dolly
      Corn dollies or corn mothers are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanization.Before Christianisation, in traditional pagan European culture it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop, and that the harvest made it effectively homeless...

    • Straw marquetry
      Straw marquetry
      Straw marquetry is a craft very similar to that of wood marquetry, except that straw replaces the wood veneer. It is thought to have first been practised in the East; examples were brought to England in the 17th century....

    • Straw painting
    • Straw plaiting

  • Erosion control
    Erosion control
    Erosion control is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion in agriculture, land development and construction. Effective erosion controls are important techniques in preventing water pollution and soil loss.-Introduction:...

  • Straw bales are sometimes used for sediment control
    Sediment control
    A sediment control is a practice or device designed to keep eroded soil on a construction site, so that it does not wash off and cause water pollution to a nearby stream, river, lake, or bay...

     at construction
    Construction
    In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

     sites. However, bales are often ineffective in protecting water quality
    Water quality
    Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which...

     and are maintenance-intensive. For these reasons the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various state agencies recommend use of alternative sediment control practices where possible, such as silt fence
    Silt fence
    A silt fence, sometimes called a "filter fence," is a temporary sediment control device used on construction sites to protect water quality in nearby streams, rivers, lakes and bays from sediment in stormwater runoff...

    s, fiber roll
    Fiber roll
    A fiber roll is a temporary erosion control and sediment control device used on construction sites to protect water quality in nearby streams, rivers, lakes and bays from sediment erosion...

    s and geotextiles.
    • Burned area emergency response
      Burned area emergency response
      Burned area emergency response is an emergency risk management reaction to post wildfire conditions that pose risks to human life and property or could further destabilize or degrade the burned lands...

    • Ground cover
    • In-stream check dams

  • Hats
    • There are several styles of straw hat
      Straw hat
      A straw hat is a brimmed hat that is woven out of straw or reeds. The hat is designed to protect the head from the sun and against heatstroke, but straw hats were also used in fashion and as a decorative element of a uniform.- Manufacture :...

      s that are made of woven straw.
    • Until about 100 years ago, thousands of women and children in England were employed in plaiting straw for making hats. These days the straw plait is imported.

  • Horticulture
    Horticulture
    Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

    • Straw is used in cucumber
      Cucumber
      The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

       houses and for mushroom
      Mushroom
      A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

       growing.
    • In Japan
      Japan
      Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

      , certain trees are wrapped with straw to protect them from the effects of a hard winter as well as to use them as a trap for parasite insects.
    • It is also used in ponds to reduce algae by changing the nutrient ratios in the water.
    • The soil under strawberries
      Strawberry
      Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...

       is covered with straw to protect the ripe berries from dirt, and straw is also used to cover the plants during winter to prevent the cold from killing them.
    • Straw also makes an excellent mulch
      Mulch
      In agriculture and gardening, is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors....

      .

  • Packaging
    • Straw is resistant to being crushed 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 rarer, but are still to be found at some wine merchants.
    • Wheat straw is also used in compostable food packaging
      Food packaging
      Food packaging is packaging for food. It requires protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition information on the food being consumed....

       such as compostable plates. Packaging made from wheat straw can be certified compostable and will biodegrade in a commercial composting environment.

  • Paper
    • Straw can be pulped to make paper
      Paper
      Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

      .


  • Rope
    • Rope made from straw was used by thatchers, in the packaging industry and even in iron foundries.

  • Shoe
    Shoe
    A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function...

    s
    • Koreans wear Jipsin
      Jipsin
      Jipsin are Korean traditional sandals made of straw. Koreans have worn straw sandals since ancient times. They are categorized as yi , shoes with a short height, and the specific name can vary according to the ingredients, as with samsin, wanggolsin, cheongol jisin, and budeulsin. In the Joseon...

      , sandals made of straw.
    • In some parts of Germany like Black Forest
      Black Forest
      The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres ....

       and Hunsrück
      Hunsrück
      The Hunsrück is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle , the Nahe , and the Rhine . The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Rhine. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel...

       people wear straw shoes at home or at carnival.

  • Targets
    • Heavy gauge straw rope is coiled and sewn tightly together to make archery
      Archery
      Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow, from Latin arcus. Archery has historically been used for hunting and combat; in modern times, however, its main use is that of a recreational activity...

       targets. This is no longer done entirely by hand, but is partially mechanised. Sometimes a paper or plastic target is set up in front of straw bales, which serve to support the target and provide a safe backdrop.

  • Thatching
    Thatching
    Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge , rushes, or heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates...

    • Thatching uses straw, reed
      Reed (plant)
      Reed is a generic polyphyletic botanical term used to describe numerous tall, grass-like plants of wet places, which are the namesake vegetation of reed beds...

       or similar materials to make a waterproof, lightweight roof with good insulation properties. Straw for this purpose (often wheat
      Wheat
      Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

       straw) is grown specially and harvested using a reaper-binder.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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