A new survey by the AHDB/HGCA has suggested the 2014 planted area for wheat could increase by as much as 22%, following the drop seen this season.

The Early Bird Survey of farmers’ planting intention revealed a sharp rise in the total area of wheat and winter barley for next year’s harvest, compared to the last.

A team of agronomists assessed 280,000 hectares of arable land across Great Britain and have estimated that the total wheat area, including spring wheat, will rise to approximately 1.98m hectares.

Jack Watts, lead analyst, AHDB/HGCA, said: “This autumn we’ve had good drilling conditions across the UK and, as a consequence, we are looking at a return to a more normal cropping mix for harvest 2014 following a large shift to spring cropping in 2013.

“The return of a more normal UK wheat area is the first step to the UK returning to the export market, although yields and quality remain weather-dependent. History shows that when farmers are able to turn intentions into reality, the Early Bird Survey gives a good indication of areas for key autumn sown crops in the UK.”

In March British Baker reported that the planted area for winter wheat was down 25% on December 2011 figures.

The results of the AHDB/HGCA’s December Planting Survey, issued on 1 December, will be published in February 2014.