The National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales (NFU) is asking members to complete its annual harvest survey, launched this week.

The survey of combinable crops, available online from 15 August, is the first source of published data on production levels in the UK, and is published up to a month before Defra’s official statistics. It follows the UK becoming a net importer of wheat for the first time in 20 years in 2012.

The survey hopes to achieve a full picture of the wheat crop in England by mid-September and the year’s harvest of major combinable crops to date, by early October.  It will reflect on issues such as the effect of the extreme weather on cereals and oilseeds, the lower winter crop areas and increased planting of spring crops, and the effect difficult field conditions have had on the crop.

Results are hoped to be released by 13 September.

Guy Gagen, NFU chief arable adviser, said: “Without the information provided by members, it would have simply been impossible to generate an accurate estimate in the past as we rely on members’ input in order to maintain our accurate track record with harvest results.

“As with last year, the survey is online, making it easy for members’ to record the crucial information that goes into painting a picture of the 2013 harvest on a national scale.

“We need as many of our members as possible to fill the survey in, as without their input, it simply would not be possible.”