4.1 Overview ( Table C2)
In 2015 crops accounted for almost ten per cent of agricultural land; barley accounted for 308,000 hectares, wheat 110,000 hectares, oats 25,700 hectares, oilseed rape 35,900 hectares, potatoes 25,800 hectares, stock-feeding crops 23,400 hectares, vegetables for human consumption 16,800 hectares, and fruit 1,900 hectares.
Chart 4.1 shows production trends of various crops, presented as indices of tonnage.
The most striking trend is the increase in production of raspberries and strawberries, which has nearly doubled over the past ten years (even with the fall in 2012). This is mostly due to increases in strawberries, with the rapid increase of strawberries grown under cover having a big impact.
After steady increases between 2005 and 2010, the production of vegetables decreased between 2011 and 2012, probably due to the poor weather, with a recovery since 2013.
Chart 4.1: Production indices for crops 2005 to 2015 (2005 = 100)
The production of potatoes increased by 300,000 tonnes (27 per cent) between 2005 and 2006 and generally remained higher for most years compared to pre-2006 levels. However, as with other crops, poor yields were obtained in 2012, with production falling right back to below 2005 levels. The recovery in 2013 only brought production back to levels similar to those of 2003, while 2015 saw another decrease to levels similar to poor yields in 2012.
There has been little variation in cereal production over the last ten years, which has ranged from 2.51 million tonnes in 2012 to 3.22 million tonnes in 2014. The 2015 harvest was 351,000 tonnes higher (13 per cent) than the 2005 harvest.
The production of oilseed rape was 29,000 tonnes higher (25 per cent) in 2015 than in 2005. Over the past ten years production levels have been quite varied, ranging between 106,000 tonnes in 2012 and 150,000 tonnes in 2011.
4.1.1 Distribution of crops by region ( Table C4)
Chart 2.1 shows the regional distribution of use of agricultural land. In more detail, chart 4.2 shows that Grampian accounted for the largest proportion of barley (41 per cent) and oilseed crops (30 per cent). Tayside had the largest area of wheat (24,500 hectares or 22 per cent of the national total). Map 8 shows the prevalence of cereals on the east coast, with high rates in East Lothian, Fife, Angus and Aberdeenshire.
Crops for stock-feeding were more generally grown in areas with high numbers of livestock such as Grampian (4,400 hectares), Dumfries and Galloway (3,200 hectares) and Scottish Borders (2,300 hectares), which together represented over half of the Scotland total.
Chart 4.2: Distribution of crop types by sub-region, June 2015
Chart 4.3: Distribution of potatoes, soft fruit and vegetables by sub-region, June 2015
Regarding other crops, chart 4.3 shows that Tayside had 70 per cent (1,300 hectares) of the land used for orchard and soft fruit in Scotland. Tayside also accounted for nearly half (49 per cent or 8,100 hectares) of the land used to grow vegetables for human consumption, and, as illustrated in Map 9, also accounted for nearly half (49 per cent or 12,700 hectares) of the area used for growing potatoes. The other areas that contributed greatly to the production of other crops, Grampian, Fife, Scottish Borders and Lothian, are also in the east.
Crops account for about 30 per cent of total output from farming. Since 2005 the total output value of crops, excluding related subsidies, has increased by £339 million (70 per cent) to £822 million in 2015. However, there were fluctuations within this period, with crop values having seen a decline in the last two years. There has been a general increasing trend in the value of horticulture (up £112 million or 69 per cent) along with oilseed rape and other farm crops (up £23 million or 94 per cent), with a slight decrease seen since 2012. Trends in cereals and potatoes have also been upwards but have fallen more recently.
Chart 4.4: Output value of crops (excluding subsidies) 2005 to 2015
Between 2005 and 2015 the value of cereals increased by £147 million (79 per cent), however this trend includes large increases of £186 million between 2006 and 2008 and £198 million between 2009 and 2011, as well as a large decrease of £142 million between 2008 and 2009 and of £124 million since 2011. These trends largely reflect market price movements, as production levels have not varied to this extent.
The value of potatoes increased by £57 million (52 per cent) between 2005 and 2015. This trend included a large increase of £83 million in 2006 and £82 million in 2013, when production and market prices of potatoes both increased, though the value has been decreasing in the last two years mainly due to lower prices.
Over the shorter term, provisional estimates for 2015 suggest that the output value of crops decreased by £46 million (five per cent) from 2014. The output value of potatoes and cereals decreased over the last year by £20 million (11 per cent) and £44 million (12 per cent) respectively. Oilseed rape showed a five per cent increase, other farm crops increased by seven per cent, while horticulture increased by six per cent.
Tables A2(i) to A2(iii) provide information on area, yield and production of a selection of crops. These production figures form the basis of TIFF crop valuations. It should be noted however that production is valued at the point it is used or sold off the farm, so there can be differences between calendar year production and output volumes. The TIFF calculation also includes end year stock valuations.
Statistics on crop areas come from the June Agricultural Census. A detailed description of area trends between 2005 and 2015 is available in the Statistical Publication 'Results From the June 2015 Scottish Agricultural Census', available at www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01186
A detailed description of statistics on area, yield and production of cereals and oilseed rape was published in December 2015 in the publication 'Final Estimate of Cereal and Oilseed Rape Harvest 2015', available at www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/5988