Areas of wheat for harvest in 2015 will be down in favour of barley and pulses, according to a survey.

An AHDB/HGCA survey of British farmers’ planting intentions for 2015 suggested a reduction in areas for wheat and oats, compared with 2014.

Wheat areas will be down 5% from those in 2014, to 1.8Mha. In contrast, the areas for both winter and spring barley are expected to be up on last year’s levels, by 12% and 9% respectively

Brenda Mullan, AHDB/HGCA analyst, said: “For next year’s harvest, we are looking at a reduced wheat area, following a reasonably strong, but not record, area for harvest 2014. Lower areas for wheat could well be driven by a response to upcoming new CAP regulations, a greater need for cultural control of key weeds, such as black-grass, and lower grain prices, which change the economics of crop rotations.

“It is likely that the area sown to barley, particularly the spring varieties, will increase as a result of the three-crop rule. This season’s Early Bird Survey results show that the industry already appears to have factored in the new EU regulations in advance of their implementation in January 2015.”

AHDB/HGCA will carry out another survey in December regarding planting ambitions, in the hope that it will help the industry gain a more detailed insight into plantings for 2015.