The most accurate value would be to send a sample to one of the analytical laboratories, which would account for the weather and other factors that occurred this year.

However, often a producer does not want to hassle with a lab sample and just wants a ball park figure to estimate nutrient removal and its potential value as a nutrient source.

For these individuals, Dr. Robert Mullen reported in previous newsletters that a ton of wheat straw would provide approximately 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5 and 20 pounds of K2O. These would be legitimate numbers to use as estimation. 

Most of the nutrient value is potash, some as N, and little as phosphorus. A dollar amount may be added by using current fertilizer prices to these values.

Besides providing nutrients, straw has value as an organic matter to a soil, but it is difficult to determine the dollar value for it. Removal of straw does lower soil potash levels, but a soil test should be done to accurately estimate future crop availability.