News

Increase in Agricultural Production for 2020

Published: 15 Dec 2020 10:00

A National Statistics Publication.

It has been a good year for the cereal harvest in Scotland, with the highest cereal yield and second highest production in the past 10 years. Crop area was very similar to the previous year, but a 2% increase in yield resulted in a small increase in production to just over 3.1 million tonnes.

Final agricultural census results confirm the overall trends that were published in October. Final results from the June Agricultural Census and Cereal and Oilseed Rape Harvest were published today by the Chief Statistician. These replace the provisional figures published in October.

To reduce farmer’s paper work during the pandemic, the Scottish Government took steps toward holding the June Census online. The full harvest survey was also stopped this year. Instead, statisticians used data from IACS forms and a mix of advice from industry experts and other data sources to provide the final estimate.

Final results show the number of cattle in Scotland continues to decline. Decreases in beef cattle have driven most of the decline in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Lamb numbers continue to recover from the storm in 2018, and are two per cent higher than the previous year.

The area of vegetables for human consumption grew by 13 per cent, excluding potatoes. The area used to grow vegetables for stockfeed remained relatively stable.

The total workforce on agricultural holdings also remained stable at 66,700 people.

Background

Final estimates of the Scottish Cereal and Oilseed Rape Harvest are used to monitor cereal production and to meet obligations to the European Union, World Trade Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The June Census provides an annual update on trends in agricultural activity across the country. It covers all main types of farming and other aspects of farming life such as the availability of labour and tenancy. The final results also provide some further breakdowns of the key statistics by region and sub-region.

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Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards. See standards of official statistics in Scotland for more information.