Scots cereal production expected to drop by 12%

Scottish cereal production is expected to drop by 12% to 2.5m tonnes this year as a result of the bad weather, while DEFRA has issued a provisional UK wheat crop figure of 13.3m tonnes, reflecting a 14% fall in yields.

Yields of all crops in Scotland are lower than in 2011. Wheat is down to 6.79t/ha compared with 8.09t/ha last year, spring barley is 4.87t/ha (5.61t/ha in 2011) and winter barley 6.51t/ha (7.1t/ha). Oat yields fell from 5.6t/ha to 5.53t/ha.

Oilseed rape suffered a big drop, falling from 3.9t/ha to 3t/ha, with the crop falling to 110,000t this year compared with almost 150,000t last year. The drop in the 2012 yield was compounded by a 5% drop in area.

In response to the first estimate of the cereal and oilseed rape harvests, Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said the department was working to mitigate the effect and ease farmers’ cash flow difficulties by working to ensure as many single farm payments as possible could be paid in December. Final harvest estimates for Scotland will be published in December 2012.

DEFRA’s crop forecast of a UK wheat crop in 2012 of 13.3m tonnes is just above the NFU’s harvest survey estimate. The DEFRA result sees UK oilseed rape yields dropping 13% to 3.4t/ha and barley down 2.7% to 5.5t/ha.

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