News

Favourable weather helps farming recover.

Published: 08 Oct 2019 09:32

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Agriculture in 2019 recovered from the difficulties experienced due to the poor weather in 2018. The area of cereals and potatoes both rose and there was an increase sheep numbers. However, the number of cattle and the area of soft fruits in both fell.

Better winter planting conditions helped the area of cereals grown to recover over the past year and the data showed total area of cereals increased by 10,600 hectares to 437,000 hectares. Barley, which is Scotland’s biggest crop, rose by one per cent and it was a similar picture for wheat which increased by eight per cent. The increase in area was due to a recovery in the area of winter planted crops.

The Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician released the results from the June 2019 Agricultural Census which also highlighted a recovery in sheep numbers. The total sheep count rose by one per cent, or 82,700 with lamb numbers rising by four percent. The number of breeding ewes remained fairly steady, rising by less than one per cent.

The total number of cattle continued to decline and is now at the lowest point since the 1950’s. The data shows the total number of cattle dropped by two per cent or 27,600. Despite the drop, the number of dairy cattle remained fairly constant over the past year.

The area of vegetables intended for human consumption fell over the past year. The data shows the area dropped by two per cent over the past year. The area used to grow vegetable for stock-feed remained stable.

The statistics also showed that poultry numbers remained relatively steady over the past year at 14.9 million chickens. The number of egg-laying birds continues to outnumber the number of birds for meat.

In addition to these statistics, the number of people estimated to be working in agriculture has increased slightly by approximately one per cent to 67,100.

The area of rented agricultural land has remained relatively constant over the past year. There were approximately 6,200 farms in Scotland with rented land, with approximately 10,000 rented crofts.

Agriculture continues to dominate the Scottish landscape. In 2019 there was a total of 51,300 agricultural holdings in Scotland.

Background

The full statistical publications can be accessed at:
http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781839602382 

These statistics are used by government and stakeholders to monitor and assess the economic well-being of the agricultural sector and for policy evaluation, and to fulfil statutory requirements for the European Commission. Further information on Agriculture and Fisheries statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries

More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About