Although down 14% from last year, the 2014 UK oat crop is still 20% above the average for 2008-2012, according to the HGCA.

The UK cereals marketing board says with the largest carry-over in recent seasons, balancing the 2014 crop may be tricky, and exports and animal feed demand will be key areas to watch.

However, it says if a smaller area for harvest 2015 is realised, a higher carry-over may be welcome.

The UK oat crop in 2014 is provisionally estimated at 828,000t by the Department of Environment Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The HGCA says while this represents a 14% decline from last season’s exceptional crop, it is still 20% above the average for 2008-2012, and the second largest crop in 40 years (behind last year).

In terms of 2015 the HGCA highlight that although the area planted to oats is estimated to have fallen by 23% to 136,000ha, this is partially offset by provisionally the highest average yield (5.9t/ha) since 2006. Final results are expected on December 18.

With the largest amount of oats carried into this season in recent times (166,000t) and another large crop in 2014, absorbing the crop could be a challenge the HGCA warn.

However, it says quality was generally reported by tillage farmers as satisfactory, which should limit import requirements.