Winter oats area surges as Scottish plantings rise by 8%

Winter oats have bucked the trend of all other major cereals and oilseed rape, with the total UK area up by about 20,000ha.

The results of the latest Scottish Agriculture Survey show an 8.1% hike in area of winter oats planted north of the border.

The crop’s total area stands at 9,400ha in Scotland this season, 24% higher than the country’s 10-year average.

See also: Spring crops triumph on blackgrass-infested Fens farm

These numbers have been combined with the English and Welsh figures from the AHDB Winter Planting Survey (pdf) and the Northern Ireland December survey to give a complete picture of the UK’s winter cropping make-up for the 2016/17 season.

It shows that oats are the only major winter crop to increase, whereas the areas for wheat, barley and oilseed rape have each declined steadily over the past three years.

Scottish winter cropping headlines

  • Total winter cropping up 3.1% on the previous year, bucking the national trend towards more spring cropping for better weed control and lower input costs
  • Oilseed rape plantings in Scotland have enjoyed an 8% increase to 31,600ha
  • Winter wheat area is up 2.3% to 103,900ha
  • Winter barley plantings remain on a rough par with last year at 51,800ha

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