By FW Staff
CEREAL plantings for 1998/99 were lower than expected, according to the first official ministry figures released this week.
The June census shows that wheat area in England fell by 8% on the year to 1.76m ha (4.35m acres), based on returns from about 87,000 farms.
If other regions follow the trend, total UK cereal area may reach only 1.86m ha (4.59m acres), says Gerald Mason of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.
“That is about 65,000ha (1.6m acres) less than the HGCA final figure, close on 500,000t. I suspect most of the trade will revise their wheat crop estimates down to 15-15.4m tonnes.”