Rural Affairs Secretary welcomes 2015 estimates

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Scotland’s highest cereal harvest yield for 20 years has been welcomed by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

According to the first estimates for the 2015 Scottish cereal and oilseed rape harvest, published today, Scottish farms are thought to have produced 3.3 million tonnes of cereals this year.

Mr Lochhead said, “This year’s cereal harvest estimates are testament to the professionalism and hard work of Scotland’s farmers. They are a great achievement, especially considering the poor growing conditions we have had in Scotland, with some parts of the country experiencing the wettest summer in a century. I am pleased to see such high yields being reported this year, undoubtedly helped by the recent spell of more settled weather conditions. However, I am aware that producers in some areas, such as Shetland, have yet to harvest their crops, and the Scottish Government, NFUS and other stakeholders continue to closely monitor the situation through our wet weather working group.”

“Today’s harvest estimates are also the first to be published since the EU’s new Greening rules came into effect in January and show that farmers have adapted well to the new Greening requirements – although it is likely Europe’s three crop rule has resulted in a slight decrease in spring barley production. That is why the Scottish Government continues to push hard in Europe for equivalence measures that will allow Scottish farmers to choose alternative ways of meeting their crop diversification requirements.”

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