The cereals and oilseeds area in Britain is down 2% for harvest 2015, reflecting a switch to alternative crops to help control blackgrass and the European Union’s new three-crop rule.
The annual planting and variety survey from the AHDB also indicated that the area down to break crops, such as peas and beans, and land left fallow had increased.
The key findings of the survey were:
- Cereals and oilseed rape area estimated at 3.72m ha, down 2% from 2014.
- Wheat area estimated at 1.87m ha, down 3% from 2014
- Barley area up by 3% to 1.09m ha, including a 4% rise in the winter barley area.
- Oilseed rape area down 7% from 2014 at 627,000ha.
- Oats area is fairly stable at 137,000ha, up 1% from 2014.
The survey added that the fall in oilseed rape area is likely to be due to the EU ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, low rapeseed prices and the three-crop rule.