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Final estimates of cereal and oilseed rape harvest 2008

15/01/2009

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published final estimates of the 2008 Scottish cereal and oilseed rape harvest.

The final estimate of cereal production for the 2008 harvest is 86,000 tonnes lower than the provisional estimate published on October 23, 2008. This is due to the lower yields for all crops reported in the Cereal Production Survey compared with the initial estimates.

These final estimates indicate that, compared with the 2007 harvest:

  • Total cereal production increased by 324,000 tonnes or 12.4 per cent to 2.945 million tonnes. This was due to an increase in cereal areas of 53,000 hectares or 13.1 per cent, as overall cereal yields remained similar to last year
  • Total barley production increased by 214,000 tonnes or 12.9 per cent to 1.872 million tonnes. This increase was due to a 14.8 per cent increase in areas, as yields decreased by 1.7 per cent
  • Wheat production increased by 115,000 tonnes or 13.9 per cent to 948,000 tonnes. There was a 10.8 per cent increase in areas and a 2.8 per cent increase in yields
  • The production of oats decreased by 5,000 tonnes or 3.7 per cent to 119,000 tonnes. This was due to a 7.4 per cent reduction in yields, as areas increased by 4.1 per cent
  • Oilseed rape production decreased by 22,000 tonnes or 15.9 per cent to 115,000 tonnes. This was due to a 7.5 per cent decrease in areas and a 9.1 per cent decrease in yields

harvest estimates 2007 - 2008

See larger version of table

The production estimates are based on crop areas from the June Agricultural Census and crop yield estimates mainly taken from the Cereal Production Survey.

The Cereal Production Survey is based on a sample of around 395 farms in Scotland stratified by region and farm size. The number of holdings submitting a return for Spring Barley was 351, Winter Barley was 161, Wheat was 258, Oats was 44 and Winter Oilseed rape was 108.

Overall yield estimates for Oats and Oilseed Rape are based on a combination of survey results and yield estimates taken from the October 2008 Crop Report meeting, as there was insufficient survey coverage of these crops in some regions of Scotland. Estimates of Triticale production are based entirely on the Crop Report meeting. The October 2008 Crop Report meeting between Scottish Government and trade organisations formed the basis of the first production estimates published on 23th October 2008.

The European Commission reduced the compulsory set-aside rate for 2008 to 0%, from 10% in 2007. This allowed set-aside land to be used for eligible agricultural activities in 2008 and is the main reason for the increases in area and production for wheat and barley.

The area estimates for 2008 have been revised slightly from those published in October, due to the incorporation of results from the June 2008 Agricultural Survey of Minor Holdings.