Defra Issue UK Planting Figures

Having put some numbers on English crop areas last week, Defra said today that the UK wheat planted area for the 2009 harvest was a smidgen under 1.8 million hectares, that's a 14% drop on last year.

Oilseed rape plantings were also lower overall at 571,700 ha. Conversely the UK barley area was up 12% to 1.16 million ha.

Defra don't give us any yields to go on unfortunately. ADAS recently said that they expected yields to be "close to the UK five year average of 7.9 MT/ha". The NFU last week said that they peg the English wheat yield at below the five year average of 7.8 MT/ha.

That would appear to leave us with a UK wheat crop of around 14 MMT this year, possibly a little less, circa 3.5 MMT down on 2008.

Barley yields have varied quite widely across the country, a best guess for an average overall yield is probably around 5.75 Mt/ha, implying a final production of 6.67 MMT, up around half a million tonnes on last year.

Rapeseed yields have also been highly variable, with some winter varieties producing 5 MT/ha plus, and other falling down as low as 2 MT/ha according to ADAS. Spring varieties averaged around 2.5-2.8 MT/ha, they say.

If we use an average guess of 3.5 MT/ha that gives us a crop of around 2 MMT, very similar to last season.