Between 2012 and 2013 production is estimated to have risen by a quarter of a million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes. This represents a partial recovery following a 15 per cent reduction in 2012, caused by poor growing conditions and a wet and prolonged harvest period. It is expected that a recovery from last year’s low yields will take at least two years; subject to favourable growing conditions in 2014. The overall increase in cereal production this year is due to an 11 per cent increase in yields, as areas remained largely unchanged.
Although current yields remain relatively low overall cereal yields (including triticale) show improvement over the longer term. The recent 10 year average yield is seven per cent above the previous decade’s. Long term increases are likely to be due to improved efficiency in practices and development and use of high yielding varieties.
First estimates of the Scottish cereal and oilseed rape harvest are derived at the annual Crop Report Meeting (CRM) which is attended by a panel of experts from the Scottish cereal industry. This year’s results have shown a degree of variability in yields across the country. This high variability introduces additional uncertainty around this year’s estimates. Below is a brief assessment of the 2013 harvest from the Crop Report panel.
The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.