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A National Statistics Publication.
The latest 2021 figures released by the Scottish Government predict a good year for cereal production. Total cereal production is expected to be around 3.1 million tonnes. On the whole, total area of cereals grown in Scotland are very like the 2020 estimates. Yet winter planted crop areas have recovered following the impacts of poor weather in the previous year.
Across Scotland early estimates predict yields generally above the five year average, with wheat and winter barley doing well. However, industry experts reported farmers are still noticing varying crop yields.
The reports, published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, include first estimates from the June Agricultural Census. It shows that potato areas remained steady over the past year, at 28,400 hectares and vegetable areas increased by five per cent to 22,100 hectares. Strawberries are again the most popular soft fruit grown in Scotland. Strawberries make up more than half the total soft fruit area, which remained steady in 2021 at 2,200 hectares.
Livestock estimates show the on-going falling trend in cattle numbers has halted, remaining steady with last year’s total cattle at 1,720,000 with a half per cent increase from last year keeping numbers close to the 60 year low. Dairy numbers have been mostly stable over the last 10 years and increased very slightly in 2021. Beef cattle have fallen 13 per cent over the last decade but their numbers were relatively stable in 2021 compared to last year.
The results also show there has been a good lambing season with numbers increasing by 1 per cent on the previous year. The number of pigs has gone up for the third year in a row. Poultry numbers have fallen by three percent, with the increase of less than one per cent in birds for producing eggs being more than offset by a fall in birds for eating and breeding.
Other estimates from the June Census show the total workforce on farm holdings increasing slightly to 67,400. There has been a decrease in the number of secure tenancy farms which is mostly offset by an increase in limited duration tenancies. Overall tenancies decreased slightly by one percent to 6,100 holdings.
Following the changes we made to our surveys during the pandemic, the Scottish Government took steps to return this year’s June Census both online and in paper format. The end of season Cereal Production and Disposal Survey will run as usual this year to provide final estimates of the cereal and oilseed rape harvest in December. The Sheep and Goat Inventory will continue this year.
First estimates of the cereal and oilseed rape harvest are used to monitor cereal production, assess the economic well-being of the sector and help identify likely impacts on the market. The production estimates also feed into the UK cereals balance sheet which provides a comprehensive picture of the supply and demand position of the UK cereal market.
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.
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Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards. See standards of official statistics in Scotland for more information.