By FWi staff
TOTAL wheat area in great Britain is nearly 9% lower than last year and winter barley is down 24%, according to results of the Home-Grown cereals Authority spring planting survey.
In comparison the spring barley area is 22% higher than last season. Commercial oilseed rape in the UK is down 15% on last season.
The survey results suggest wheat production will be greater than first expected although it will remain smaller than last years 15.4 million tonnes, noted the HGCA.
Despite the higher plantings of spring barley average yields are expected to be reduced.
At last years low yield, the survey implies a crop of just under 5.8 million tonnes. But the trend of 5.1t/ha for spring barley and 6.1t/ha for winter barley indicate that 6.4 million tonnes could be harvested.
The HGCA believes that next seasons wheat crop could be about 1 to 1.5 million tonnes smaller than this season on the back of the lower plantings.
“And expected larger stocks and the possibility of lower domestic usage could balance some of the reduced crop size,” said the HGCA.
The survey results remain provisional as forms are still being returned. With estimates from Northern Ireland still unavailable the HGCA hopes to have final results ready by the end of this month. Only small revisions are expected in this copy.