‘ArableApril’: Cereals area declines by 40,000ha in 4 years

The area under cereals in this country declined by almost 40,000ha from 2015 to 2018 – from 292,400ha in 2015 to 253,000ha in 2018. That’s a decrease in the area sown to cereals of 13.5%.

The dramatic decrease saw its highest rate of decline from 2017 to 2018. In this year it declined by 19,400ha.

The poor weather conditions in the autumn of 2017 and spring of 2018 may have contributed to this, as well as increasing competition for land from dairy farmers and those switching to dairy.

In those four years the area under spring barley – Ireland’s most popular spring barley crop – decreased by 10,100ha.

The area under spring barley had dropped massively in 2014 – by 18,400ha.

The poor sowing conditions in the winter of 2017 meant this area recovered in 2018 and the area under spring barley increased by almost 7% in 2018.

Data source: CSO (2015-2016) and DAFM provisional figures for 2018

2019

The winter cereal area for 2019 is up significantly. Teagasc estimates that the area under winter cereals increased by 27,800ha from 2018.

The biggest increase came from winter barley which saw a 31% increase in the area planted to 75,000ha.

Winter wheat area is also estimated to be up for the 2019 season with 62,000ha planted; that’s an increase of 15% from 53,900ha in 2018.

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