Initial estimates are generally good predictors of final results
Initial estimates of the cereal harvest are published in October.
In April 2020, it was announced in the RESAS Revised schedule of agricultural surveys and outputs that the Cereal Production Survey would be temporarily stopped. The final 2020 estimate is based on a similar method to the first estimate. Industry intelligence at the end of the Scottish harvest has been combined with information about historic trends.
We are continuing to investigate ways to improve the accuracy of our first estimates, incorporating forecasting techniques to complement information from industry experts.
How first estimates are calculated
Our annual harvest first estimates are based on advice from industry experts on expected yields. We combine this with census results for the areas grown to estimate the total amount of production.
First estimates are fairly accurate
The data collected on areas grown is very good. However, first and final yield estimates can vary as more information is collected once the harvest has been completed.