Area sown to cereal crops dropped almost 7% since 2017
Preliminary figures from the Department of Agriculture show that 253,000ha of cereal crops were grown this season. That’s a reduction of 6.8% from 2017.
Winter cereal acreages took a significant drop due to the poor sowing conditions in the autumn and winter.
Spring barley remains the largest crop grown at 122,900ha – up approximately 7% from 2017. Winter barley acreage decreased in 2018. It went from 65,000ha in 2017 to 56,100ha in 2018 – a drop of 14%.
Winter wheat was a similar story to winter barley. The crop dropped from 60,300ha in 2017 to 53,000ha in 2018 – a decrease of 12%.
However, the spring wheat area was almost halved. The area of the crop sown went from 6,800ha in 2017 to 3,500ha in 2018. That’s a decrease of 48%.
The area of both winter and spring oats fell dramatically this year. The winter oats area fell by 31% (4,400ha) to 10,000ha, while 7,700ha of spring oats were sown – down from 10,000ha in 2017.
The area of winter oilseed rape harvested last season increased from 7,800ha in 2017 to 8,700ha in 2018. 1,697ha of spring oilseed rape were planted in 2018.
Only 744ha of winter beans were planted last season and a total of 7,052ha of spring beans were sown.
Fodder beet and maize
The area of both fodder beet and maize increased this season. 10,816ha of fodder beet were planted, while 16,500ha of maize added to a 40% jump in the area of the crop grown in 2018.
This brings the area of the main tillage crops sown to 298,509ha. It does not take into account some crops, such as peas or triticale for example.