Yields up: despite dry summer

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This morning, Defra released the final estimates for 2022 UK cereal and oilseed production. In October, Defra were unable to publish provisional UK cereal and oilseed production estimates, due to reduced data availability from UK regions. Todays release is the first official production estimates for 2022.

Despite the hot and dry conditions experienced this summer impacting some crops on lighter land, wheat, barley, oat and oilseed rape yields are up on the year.

Wheat production up 11%

With a slight increase in planted area (+1%) and a rise in yields, UK wheat production is estimated at 15.540M tonnes, up 11% on the year. Furthermore, this is the largest output since 2019 and 14% higher than the previous five-year average (2017-2021).

Total barley production is estimated at 7.385M tonnes, up 6% year-on-year and in line with the previous five-year average. Despite larger yields for winter and spring crops, spring production is down on the year due to a smaller planted area.

Oat production for harvest 2022 is estimated at 1.007M tonnes. This is down 10% from last year’s large crop (biggest this century) but up 2% from the previous five-year average.

Oilseed rape production is estimated at 1.361M tonnes for harvest 2022. This is up 39% year-on-year, but down 14% from the previous five-year average. Yields for harvest 2022 are the largest since 2017.

Defra final UK 2022 estimates for area, yield and production of major crops

Crop Defra 2022 area (Kha) YoY change Defra 2022 yield (t/ha) YoY change Defra 2022 production (Kt) YoY change
Wheat 1,809 1% 8.6 10% 15,540 11%
Total barley 1,104 -4% 6.7 11% 7,385 6%
Winter barley 433 7% 7.4 9% 3,212 17%
Spring barley 671 -10% 6.2 9% 4,173 -1%
Oats 174 -13% 5.8 3% 1,007 -10%
Oilseed rape 364 18% 3.7 16% 1,361 39


Megan Hesketh senior arable analyst AHDB says: “For the first official UK cereal supply and demand estimates, which were released in November, AHDB estimates were used for wheat, barley and oat production. With the official Defra figures released today, how do these differ from the provisional AHDB production forecasts?

“For wheat, the Defra UK production figure is 123K tonnes less than the provisional AHDB estimate of 15.664M tonnes. While the final Defra production figure is down slightly from the provisional estimate, it remains the largest crop since 2019. Therefore, if applied to the current supply and demand forecasts, the surplus available for either export or free stock remains the largest since 2015/16.”

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