Current estimates for the UK’s 2015 wheat crop are down 3% on 2014 at 1.87Mha.
According to the annual AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Planting and Variety survey, the wheat area in England is estimated at 1.73Mha, down 4% compared to last year. However, the area of wheat in Scotland has increased by 3,000ha since 2014. The higher Scottish wheat area partially offsets a decrease in Barley area, which may have occurred as a result of the three crop requirements under the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), according to the AHDB.
Regionally, the wheat-planted area in the south east has dropped by “a fairly notable” 18,000ha (18%) since last year to an estimated 219,000ha with “marked declines” across eastern England.
Cultural control of black-grass, through the use of spring cropping, as well as implications of the three crop rule could be particular drivers of the declines in the wheat area.
The total area of cereals and oilseeds for harvest 2015 in Great Britain is estimated at 3.72Mha, down 2% from 2014.
Anna Lockwood, AHDB market analyst, said: “A lower area planted to oilseed rape and the major cereals this year reflects evolving cropping patterns throughout Great Britain. Changes are likely to be in response to developing economic and agronomic trends.”
Key findings of the survey are:
• Total GB cereals and oilseed rape area at 3.72Mha, down 2% from 2014
• Total wheat area for GB estimated at 1.87Mha, down 3% from 2014
• Total barley area up by 3% to 1.09Mha, including a 4% increase for the winter barley area
• GB oilseed rape area down 7% from 2014 at 627,000ha
• GB oat area remains fairly stable at 137,000ha, up 1% from 2014