UK set to record fourth biggest wheat harvest on record

Defra’s final crop production and yield figures have revealed a boost in UK wheat production, compared with estimates made in October, of over 250Kt, according to Brenda Mullan, Senior Analyst with the HGCA.

Mullan says this takes UK wheat output to 16.4Mt, the fourth biggest harvest on record, reflecting the favourable growing conditions for harvest 2015.

Final yields have been reported at 9.0t/ha, the highest on record, with the UK average yield enhanced by increases in all but one region (East England), compared with 2014.

“While the wheat area was down by 5% year-on-year, production has only shown a decline of 1%, with record yields the driving force behind the second consecutive +16Mt crop,” she said.

Mullan said, Defra’s figures also indicated increases in production estimates for all of the UK’s main arable crops, compared with those in October. Oilseed rape also saw a considerable revision of over 220Kt compared with October – taking 2015 production to 2.5Mt.

Oilseed rape also saw a considerable revision of over 220Kt compared with October – taking 2015 production to 2.5Mt.

Mullan said this week’s report suggests further bearish sentiments in an already price-pressured market; the impact of the final statistics will be incorporated in the updated UK cereals balance sheets in the New Year.

The area under winter wheat in Ireland looks to have fallen a massive 17% this year, according to Teagasc’s provisional cereal harvest estimates 2015.

The reduction, estimated at over 11,000ha in the winter wheat area led to a knock-on reduction in production of 14% or 93,000t.

The area under spring barley in Ireland has also reduced significantly, according to the Teagasc estimates. The figures show that this year saw farmers sow almost 27,000ha less of the crop with a corresponding reduction in production of 15% or 180,000t.

One of the key reasons for the shifts in Ireland’s cropping patterns is the new CAP greening measures which act to increase the levels of crop diversification across Europe.

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