First Estimates of the Cereal and Oilseed Rape Harvest 2014

This publication contains early estimates fo the 2014 Scottish cereal and oilseed rape harvest, including estimates of yields and production levels.


Between 2013 and 2014 production is estimated to have risen by 445,000 tonnes to 3.3 million tonnes. This represents a recovery from the 2012 crop year, when decreased production was caused by poor growing conditions and a wet and prolonged harvest period. The overall increase in cereal production this year is due to a 15 per cent increase in yields, as total area remained largely unchanged.

The recent 10 year average yield is seven per cent above the previous decade's. Long term increases are likely to be due to improved efficiency in practices and development and use of high yielding varieties.

These estimates indicate that, compared with final estimates from the

2013 harvest:

  • Spring barley production increased by two per cent to 1.7 million tonnes due to a 10 per cent increase in yield. Planted areas fell by seven per cent.
  • Winter barley production increased by 45 per cent to 406,000 tonnes due to a 23 per cent increase in area and 18 per increase in yield.
  • Wheat production increased by 46 per cent to 954,000 tonnes due to a 26 per cent increase in area and 16 per cent increase in yield.
  • Oat production decreased by seven per cent to 173,000 tonnes due to 21 per cent decreases in area, returning to lower levels following substitution for wheat and oilseed rape in 2013. Yield increased by 17 per cent.
  • Oilseed rape production increased by 35 per cent to 151,000 tonnes due to a 10 per cent increase in area and 22 per cent increase in yield.

First estimates of the Scottish cereal and oilseed rape harvest are derived at the annual Crop Report Meeting (CRM) which is attended by a panel of experts from the Scottish cereal industry. This year's results have shown a degree of variability in yields across the country. This high variability introduces additional uncertainty around this year's estimates. Below is a brief assessment of the 2014 harvest from the Crop Report panel.

2014 has been a good year for cropping despite occasionally difficult conditions; harvesting began early and progressed quickly. There’s been more consistency this year and less yield variation between regions. There was some disparity between the north and south of the country (roughly from Stonehaven across to Fort William), with the remnants of Hurricane Bertha impacting on the north. While this did not affect quality, yield or grain size too much it did delay the harvest by around seven to ten days compared to the south. The resulting ground conditions are expected to impact on the winter crop in this area.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


Email: Andrew Walker

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