LONDON, ENGLAND — Areas in the United Kingdom earmarked for harvest of wheat, winter barley and oats are all forecast higher in 2019 than a year ago, according to the Early Bird Survey issued by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
The AHDB said good drilling conditions in most parts of the country coupled with higher prices have encouraged growers to plant more winter varieties this fall.
“Under these favorable conditions, we have seen more autumn cropping, going against the trend toward greater spring cropping in recent years,” said Daniel Rooney, an analyst with AHDB.
U.K. wheat area for harvest in 2019 was forecast at 1.864 million hectares, up 4% from a year ago. If realized, it would be the highest wheat area since 2014, according to the AHDB.
The sharpest increase was forecast for winter barley area. At 444,000 hectares, winter barley was forecast 13% higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, spring barley was forecast to fall 3% to 735,000 hectares, the AHDB said.
At 190,000 hectares, oats area for harvest was forecast 9% higher than a year ago. If realized, it would be an increase of nearly 50% in total oats area since 2015, the AHDB said.
“The Early Bird Survey carries a track record of very accurate figures,” Rooney said. “Nonetheless, the survey only represents a snapshot at a given point in time and therefore should be interpreted carefully.”
The survey is carried out by The Andersons Centre during the first two weeks of November. It involves more than 80 agronomists.