OSR area down and spring barley area up, according to AHDB planting survey

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The 2016 AHDB Planting and Variety survey shows an increase in the area for harvest of oats and spring barley in Great Britain. Oilseed rape (OSR) in England and Scotland has seen a 9% decline. Winter barley and wheat areas have also declined.

The survey shows a 6% increase in the area of spring barley for harvest 2016 in Great Britain. In terms of the total cereals and oilseeds area, this increase is more than offset by the sharp decline in OSR area for a second year running, plus slightly lower winter barley and wheat areas. The English OSR area has dropped by 8% to the lowest level since 2009, the Scottish area is also sharply lower, down 13%.

Isobel Robinson, AHDB Market Analyst said: “Spring barley looks to have benefitted from a common trend across the country towards spring cropping, likely influenced by economic factors and efforts to control black-grass and broader agronomic issues. The prospect of historically poor market returns at planting was likely a key factor behind the lower oilseed rape area.”

Key findings of the survey are:

• GB wheat area down 2%, at 1.8Mha
• GB winter barley down 2%, at 426Kha
• GB spring barley area up 6%, at 682Kha
• GB oat area up 4%, at 135Kha
• English and Scottish OSR area down by 9%, at 591Kha

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