The area of oilseed rape in the ground this harvest is significantly higher than last year, according to the first comprehensive plantings estimates for Great Britain.
The HGCA Planting Survey showed that oilseed rape sown on non set-aside land totalled 0.57m ha this year, up 79,000ha (16%) on 2006/07. The biggest increases were in southeast England (30%) and the West Midlands (20%).
There was also an increase in the area of wheat, which came to 1.852m ha this year, an increase of 28,000ha (2%) on 2006/07. The West Midlands and northeast England saw the biggest percentage increases, while the wheat area in the southeast fell slightly (-1%).
Based on these latest results, and the HGCA’s variety survey, the Group 1 wheat area is estimated at 0.28m ha, Group 2 at 0.35m ha, Group 3 at 0.58m ha and Group 4 at 0.51m ha.
The planting survey also indicated that the barley area was up 2% to 0.875m ha, while oats were virtually unchanged at 119,000ha. Some 68% of the surveyed barley area was made up of malting varieties, with Scotland taking a significant share – 39% of the total malting barley area.
Key findings from the planting survey – areas in ‘000ha, figure in brackets indicates percentage change from 2006/07.