Survey reveals drop in cereals area

THE TOTAL area of cereals grown in Great Britain this season is down by five per cent compared to last, according to a Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) survey.

Wheat (1.93m ha) and barley (0.91m ha) plantings in autumn 2004 were 3% and 8% respectively lower than the previous season, while the oilseed rape and set-aside areas rose, the figures show.

Disruption to drilling following wet weather last harvest and autumn was a key factor in the reduced areas planted, said the HGCA’s Michael Archer.

“Although a wet spell during October did create some disruption, dry conditions during November and December allowed autumn plantings to resume satisfactorily across most of the UK.

“Wet conditions in the North and West did restrict winter plantings there, but on a national basis the areas affected were small.”

In England, only the West Midlands saw a rise in the wheat area planted, while in Scotland and Wales, the total wheat area rose by 5% and 8% respectively, the survey found.

Key results from the survey, which was based on questionnaire responses from 3,000 producers across Great Britain, are show in the table below and a full analysis can be accessed at

% change from ’04

Wheat Barley Oats OSR Set-aside
North East -4 -8 -21 8 29
North West -11 -2 39 3 89
Yorks & Humbs -3 -6 18 7 19
East Mids -6 -6 -10 9 13
West Mids 4 -13 -6 -3 12
Eastern -4 -9 -30 12 10
South East -3 -6 -1 2 2
South West -1 -7 -7 1 20
ENGLAND TOTAL -3 -7 -5 6 14
SCOTLAND TOTAL 5 -8 -8 7 15
WALES TOTAL 8 -15 -95 -71 -14
GREAT BRITAIN -3 -8 -9 6 14











Source: HGCA Final 2005 GB Planting Survey Results


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