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UK Winter Cereals and Oilseeds Down?

29 November 2012

UK - An ‘early bird’ survey of cropping intentions has suggested a significant decline in cereals and oilseeds plantings this autumn compared to last year.

The AHDB/HGCA survey aims to provide the industry with a brief, early snapshot of national cropping decisions. Findings are based on anecdotal evidence from agronomists responsible for nearly 240,000 hectares of across England and Scotland. They cover crops already in the ground - regardless of establishment conditions - coupled with planting intentions, should weather permit.

Results suggest planting areas are down an anticipated 12 per cent for winter wheat (to 1.76m ha), 9 per cent for winter barley (to 385,000 ha) and three per cent for oilseed rape (to 732,000 ha).

The late harvest combined with difficulties drilling due to heavy rain and poor soil conditions have been cited as the main causes of the drop in plantings. As a result, the national spring barley crop area is projected to rise by 40 per cent to 865,000ha.

AHDB/HGCA senior analyst Jack Watts stressed the findings needed to be put in context. He said: “These figures need to be treated as a very early snapshot for the 2013 harvest.

“There are a number of critical factors yet to determine final harvest areas, including seed availability for spring crops, pest damage, waterlogging, non-germination or emergence issues and weather conditions over the winter.”

“As these play out over the coming months, the area harvested in 2013 may well differ from these initial estimates,” he added.

TheCropSite News Desk

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