Straw is a natural by-product of wheat that is easily returned to the soil upon wheat harvest, or it can be used for animal bedding. Using straw instead of wood shavings for animal bedding is better for the environment. Here are just a few reasons why.
Unlike forests which are harvested to make wood shavings, the agricultural and natural by-product of the wheat plant is readily available as long as there are farmers. Using straw for animal bedding takes the pressure off forests and the species that live in them.
In 2017, U.S. farmers grew 46 million acres for wheat for human and animal consumption. Straw, the stalk of the mature wheat plant, can be harvested, and make a side trip from its cycle of life to serve as animal bedding, then re-enter the cycle as compost to nourish new crops.
At harvest, the wheat plant has finished its life cycle and the stalk is naturally dry and ready to be used for animal bedding. Processing is required to make wood shavings and heating is needed to dry the shavings before they can be used as animal bedding, thus using more energy!
Directing this more easily renewable, earth friendly, by-product of wheat into animal bedding is the perfect choice. Straw is better for the environment and provides income for U.S. crop farmers without increasing energy inputs and without putting land into forest production.