Wheat and barley harvest projections released

Wheat and barley harvest projections released

October heralded Defra’s release of its first estimate of this year’s wheat and barley harvest in the UK. The initial projections provide a pretty accurate snapshot of the overall picture in England and Scotland with the results for Wales and Northern Ireland yet to be factored in when the final estimates are published in December.

The provisional 2021 wheat harvest for the UK is 14.0 million tonnes, an increase of 45% on 2020.  It is above the five-year average 2016-2021 of 13.7 million tonnes. The UK yield increased by 13% to 7.8 tonnes per hectare and the wheat area increased by almost 29% to just under 1.8 million hectares.

The provisional barley production figure for the UK has decreased by 12.4% to 7.1 million tonnes in 2021 and is below the five-year average 2016-2020 of 7.3 million tonnes. The reduced production was due to a 30% decrease in spring barley production, as a result of a 31% decrease in area, from 1.1 million hectares in 2020 to 745 thousand hectares in 2021.  This more than offset the 44% increase in winter barley production.

It was a similar story for oilseed rape production. The provisional harvest has shown a decrease of 5.9% to 977 thousand tonnes in 2021.  This was caused by a decrease of 20% in the planted area. However, the oilseed rape yield has increased from 2.7 tonnes per hectare in 2020 to 3.2 tonnes per hectare in 2021.  This is just below the five-year average of 3.3 tonnes per hectare.

Oats production looks to have fared well, with projections indicating an increase of 17% to 5.8 tonnes per hectare giving an estimated production increase of 11% to just over 1.1 million tonnes in 2021. This despite the  planted area of oats decreasing by 5.1% to 199 thousand hectares.

Livestock numbers appear in general to have fallen slightly in 2021 compared with 2020. The total number of cattle and calves in the UK fell by 0.9% in 2021 to 9.5 million.

For pigs, the female breeding herd saw a decrease of 2.2% in 2021, falling to 393 thousand.  The number of fattening pigs however saw an increase of 4.9%, rising to almost 4.8 million head.  The total number of pigs now stands at 5.3 million head, an increase of 4.4%.

The UK’s sheep farming industry saw a 1.6% decrease in the number of lambs to 16.2 million and the female breeding flock decreased by 0.6% to 15.3 million.  This translates to a total UK sheep and lamb population of 32.4 million, a decrease of 0.9% compared to 2020.

Lynx engineering -

All Loaded up and on her way home. We had a great time at the Ripon Farm Services Show with many reminiscing stories and plenty of compliments about our 6800 and attachments. It makes all of those long hours from the team restoring her worthwhile.  

Lynx engineering - @Lynxengineering

We had a great time at the Ripon Farm Services Show, with many reminiscing stories and plenty of compliments about our 6800 and attachments. The main question is, where to go next for the 6800?