LONDON, ENGLAND — Wheat planted area in Britain is forecast to expand by 26% in 2021 to 1.74 million hectares, according to a survey issued by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) on July 8.

AHDB noted that sowing conditions for wheat, which is planted in the fall, are more favorable than a year ago, when many farmers shifted to planting barley in the spring.

The survey noted that wheat planted area for 2021 is in line with the five-year average.

With this year’s shift to wheat, barley planted area is projected to decline by 28% to 769,000 hectares, AHDB said.

“With wheat prices gaining significantly over the last 12 months growers switched largely back to wheat for harvest 2021,” AHDB said.  “Sowing conditions allowed this switch to happen.”

Rapeseed planted area in 2021 is forecast to decline 15% to 322,000 hectares.

“Crop conditions last year for (rapeseed) were very challenging and led to significant pest pressure and low yields,” AHDB said. “This meant growers turning away from planting this break crop.”