LONDON, ENGLAND — As a whole, cereal crops have performed well this year in the U.K., with the overall yield for total cereals showing a 2.6% increase from 7.7 tonnes per hectare in 2014 to 7.9 tonnes per hectare in 2015, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) farming statistics report released on Oct. 20.
Although some regions have faced delays, there have been no major weather incidents to hamper the harvest as a whole. There has been no standout issues relating to pests and disease, which may also contribute to the strong yields, DEFRA said. As a result of the increase in yield, total cereal production has remained stable at 24.5 million tonnes. This is despite the 2.5% decrease seen in the total cereals area.
“From using GPS to increase planting precision, to introducing new water-efficient crop varieties, our innovative farmers are embracing technology to unleash their full potential,” said Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss. “Through our Food and Farming Plan we will set out our approach to help our farmers better harness data and technology to grow more and sell more British food, creating jobs and investment in this vital industry.”
Wheat yields in the U.K. increased by 2.8%, rising from 8.6 tonnes per hectares in 2014 to 8.8 tonnes per hectare in 2015. For the first time ever, wheat grown in the U. K. has exceeded 16 million tonnes two years in a row (2014-15), DEFRA said.
The provisional oilseed rape harvest has shown a decrease of 5.6% to 2.3 million tonnes in 2015. This decrease in production has been a result of a 3.3% decrease in the planted area. The overall oilseed rape yield has remained almost unchanged at 3.6 tonnes per hectare in 2015.
Strong yields and an increase in area planted led to an increase of 5.3% in U.K. barley production between 2014 and 2015. The provisional production estimate for 2015 is almost 7.3 million tonnes. Winter and spring planted barley both saw increases in area; however, it was winter barley that saw the larger increase (7.5%) in production due to a 4.4% increase in yield to 7.5 tonnes per hectare.
Overall, the U.K.’s cereal harvest this year stands at 24.5 million tonnes, rivaling that in 2014.
Due to high production figures, the U.K.’s volume of exports of cereals rose by 74.5% between 2013-14.