UK 2008 Wheat Area Was Up 13.1% To 2.1M Ha

DEFRA say that the final 2008 UK wheat area was 2.1m ha, an increase of 13.1% on 2007's 1.8m ha. Barley plantings were up around 11% to 1.0m ha, they say. Some of the extra area came from set-aside and some from rapeseed plantings which were 11% lower.

What will be of far more interest now is what area will be given over to wheat and barley in the coming season.

I haven't seen any estimates for that yet, they don't normally seem to circulate until around February. You don't need to be a genius to figure out they will be lower. The $6m question is by how much?

Anecdotal evidence tells me that there are a lot of enquiries around for peas & bean seed this year, with the wheat price having fallen below £100/tonne.

I'll stick my neck out and go for wheat plantings of 1.7m ha and barley 0.9m ha.