LONDON, ENGLAND — Rain throughout fall and winter caused many farmer’s in Great Britain to switch to spring-planted crops, leading to a 25% decrease in wheat area this year, according to a survey by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Total wheat area is estimated at 1.36 million hectares. Spring barley plantings are up 52% to 1.06 million hectares. Overall barley area is up 19% to 1.358 million hectares.

“Throughout the 2019-20 marketing year, barley has been maintained a significant discount to wheat, making it economically less attractive,” AHDB said. “Nevertheless, the challenging autumn drilling meant that many growers shifted their intentions to planting spring barley.”

Rapeseed planted area is down 28% year-over-year due to dryness during planting and excessive fall rain, coupled with cabbage steam flea beetle damage. At 355,000 hectares, it is lowest recorded area in England since 2002, AHDB said.

The latest AHDB crop condition report highlighted that 41% of total winter rapeseed is rated either “very poor” (15%) or “poor” (26%), meaning high or extreme risk of yield loss.

The current crop condition could pose a significant reduction in regional yields, resulting in a significant decrease in production, AHDB said.

“Combining all these challenging factors, we could see the lowest rapeseed production this millennium,” it said.