Irish self-sufficiency in cereals has increased to 92 per cent in 2011/2012 from 74 per cent in 2010/2011. This is according to latest research published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) this morning.

Wheat production increased by 38.9 per cent or 260,000 tonnes and barley production increased by 15.5 per cent or 189,000 tonnes. Oats production in 2011/2012 was 13.5 per cent or 20,000 tonnes up on 2010/2011 levels, the CSO found.

A comparison of the 2011/2012 results with 2010/2011 shows that total cereal imports decreased by 19.4 per cent or 181,000 tonnes. Imports of wheat decreased by 6.4 per cent or 41,000 tonnes, while oat imports remained unchanged and barley imports fell by 48.8 per cent or 139,000 tonnes.

The comparison by the CSO also found that total cereal exports increased by 75 per cent or 234,000 tonnes. Barley exports increased by 306.5 per cent  or 141,000 tonnes, while wheat exports increased by 54.1 per cent or 111,000 tonnes. Oats exports recorded a decrease of 28.3 per cent, or 17,000 tonnes


According to the CSO in complying the statistics, usable production equates to the crop area multiplied by the green crop yield. For  example, the crop year 2011/2012 usable production relates to the crop that was harvested in the Autumn of 2011.

Since the 2008/2009 crop year  production figures are based on estimates of area under crops data obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine  Single Payment Scheme and consequently represent a new series as these estimates were previously sourced from the CSO June sample survey of agricultural holdings.

The estimates for imports and exports of cereals are obtained from CSO foreign trade statistics.  The trade data used also includes processed products, such as flour and biscuits.

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