The planted area for winter wheat is down 25% on December 2011, according to the latest data from the ADHB/HGCA Planting Survey.

As of 1 December 2012, it was estimated that an area of 1.394m hectares (ha) had been used for the planting of winter wheat in England and Wales. However, the report stated that some freezing conditions through the winter and drier weather in late February may have allowed additional plantings.

There was a 19% drop in the total area planted for winter cereals (wheat, barley and oats) and oilseeds, compared to the comparable period in 2011,which has reflected an “extremely difficult” autumn planting season, according to the survey.

Jack Watts, senior analyst, AHDB, said: “Given the poor weather through the summer and autumn of 2012, markets have been expecting a decline in winter cropping areas, which is reflected in new crop wheat prices.

“On top of the decline in area, winter wheat crops are likely to be poorly established this season. This may make crops less resilient against any extreme weather into spring and summer.”

The survey, which measured autumn crop planting up to 1 December, was based on 2,900 responses from a representative sample of farm businesses.

Estimates for Scotland are expected on 14 March.