Total wheat plantings are up 1% in Great Britain, according to the latest HGCA Planting and Variety Survey. Conducted by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Market Intelligence team, the 2011 crop survey showed that GB wheat plantings rose from a total area of 1.923m hectares (ha) to 1.941m ha.

Group 3 plantings (soft varieties used for biscuits and cakes) in Great Britain increased 4% to achieve a 15% share, while there was no change in the total area used for GB Group 1 plantings (varieties used for milling and baking), which remained at 17% of total plantings.

In Scotland, the total area for wheat plantings rose to 0.116m ha, up 4% on 2010, which is the second-highest wheat area planted in Scotland since 1992.

"This increase in wheat production, coupled with a 4% rise in the spring barley planting, indicates that Scotland can go some way towards compensating drought-lost production in England, but a lot will depend on the conditions at harvest," said AHDB’s cereals and oilseeds senior analyst Jack Watts, who manages the surveys.

The Variety Survey showed that market prices have also been affecting choice, said the HGCA, with nabim Group 4 wheat varieties mainly grown as feed wheats increasing from 51% in 2010 to 54% of all wheat grown in Great Britain.