Crop production estimates for the main cereal options and potatoes grown in Northern Ireland have been published for 2021, by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
The estimates for cereal yields were obtained from a post-harvest survey of 235 growers, while potato estimates were derived from a survey involving pre-harvest digs covering potato crops on approximately 70 farms.
Estimates for the areas of each crop have also been published on December 16, 2021 as part of the results of the June Agricultural.
Total production of barley has increased in 2021 to approximately 137,000t. The overall area grown increased by 2% from 2020 levels.
Most of the increase in production was due to higher yields for both winter (7.5t/ha) and spring (6.0t/ha) crops, which increased by 15% and 6% respectively from 2020.
Production of wheat increased from 2020 levels to 64,000t, which was similar to the wheat production figures recorded in 2019.
The area grown increased by 8% but the majority of the increase can be attributed to a large increase in yields compared to 2020.
Total production of oats also increased from 2020 levels to approximately 11,000t. Yields increased by 7% to 5.8t/ha while the area planted was unchanged.
The pre-harvest production estimate of maincrop ware and seed potatoes is 117,600t – a 9% decrease from 2020.
In 2021 the area planted decreased by 7% to 3,468ha, while yields fell by 3%. The total pre-harvest estimate, including early varieties also decreased by 9% to 118,400t.
The increase in cereal yields reflected the low disease pressure on crops that was a feature of the entire 2021 growing season.
For the most part, ground and weather conditions were excellent through the 2021 harvest.
There is also strong evidence indicating that straw yields have been excellent across Northern Ireland this year.
Both grain and straw prices have been exceptionally good throughout the second half of 2021.