The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) has just published the results of its Planting and Variety Survey.

For England, Scotland and Wales, the total cereals and oilseeds area has fallen by 5% to 3,223Kha.

This is the lowest area since at least the turn of the century, notably pressured by a historic low in the oilseed rape (OSR) area.

Where total cereals only are concerned in Great Britain, the total area fell by by 3% to 2,916Kha, the lowest figure since 2007.

For the UK, the total wheat area is estimated to be 1,560 Kha – which is 9% down on the year. This is the second smallest planted area since 1981, behind 2020.

Again, for the UK, the total barley area is up by 6%, at 1,207Kha. However, this is only 1% over the five-year average.

The spring barley area rose considerably (18%) to an estimated 804Kha, the third largest area since the turn of the century.

Meanwhile, winter barley fell by 12% to 402 Kha – that’s 2% below the five-year average.

Survey results

In GB, the oats area is estimated at 180Kha, a 9% increase from last year. While this is historically high, the area is 2% below the five-year average.

For GB, the OSR area is estimated to have declined decline by 21% to 307Kha. This would be the second lowest area since at least two decades and 59% below the peak area in 2012 for the same period.

The changes in the cropped areas from 2023 are less severe than earlier work carried out by AHDB had indicated.

Surveys that took place during March 2024 were completed at a time when many growers had not even started spring planting.

Due to persistent spring rainfall, many were unable to undertake the planting they had planned, including the re-planting of poorly established winter crops.

The survey responses for the Planting and Variety Survey were collected from 15 April to 14 June. Therefore, the winter crop areas are estimated higher and spring crop areas lower than what was expected in March.

This change in results from March contrasts what was experienced ahead of the 2020 harvest, when despite a wet autumn and winter, a drier spring improved the opportunity for plantings.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s 2023/24 soya bean harvest has been completed at 50.5 Mt. According to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, this is the largest level of output recorded for five years.