The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has published preliminary crop area figures for 2020. These figures come from data filled in on Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications.

In the data, spring barley showed an increase in area of 44,443ha to 140,529ha. That’s an increase of 46% from 2019.

However, winter barley area declined by 31,241ha to 51,248ha.

Winter wheat area declined by 41% to 35,142ha – down from 59,382ha in 2019. Spring wheat area increased by 7,565ha to 11,353ha.

While the winter and spring oats areas changed individually, overall the oats area increased by approximately 1,621ha or 7%.

Overall, the area planted to winter wheat, barley and oats declined by approximately 40%, while the area planted to spring cereals increased by 58%.

Data source: DAFM

Significant increase in area planted to beans

The area planted to beans increased significantly. In 2019, 7,443ha of beans were planted. In 2020, this figure increased to 12,950ha.

While winter oilseed rape area declined, spring oilseed rape area increased by over 200%. Maize also saw a decline in area in 2020. It decreased in area by 1,877ha.

There was little change to the overall potato area, as can be seen in the table below.

Data source: DAFM

Slight increase in tillage area

The cereal area figures would appear to be down slightly when looking at the preliminary results above.

Final figures from the Department of Agriculture for 2019 showed there were 266,343.40ha planted to wheat, barley, oats, rye, triticale and millet in 2019.

In 2020, preliminary figures show that 264,280.52ha were planted to the same crops. This is a decline of 0.77%.

However, when cereals, beans, maize, potatoes, peas, beet and oilseed rape are added together, the area sown to these tillage crops has increased.

318,693.38ha were planted to cereals, beans, maize, potatoes, peas, beet and oilseed rape in 2019, while 320,458.34ha were planted to the same crops in 2020 – an increase of 0.55%.

Preliminary figures

It is important to note that these are preliminary figures and final figures will be released by the Department of Agriculture in the autumn.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for more on these figures…