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Scottish Agricultural Census - provisional results: June 2020

Provisional results from the 2020 June Agricultural Census on land use, crop areas, livestock and the number of people working on agricultural holdings.

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Sharp fall in winter planting followed by an increase in spring crops

A chart showing the areas of spring planting and winter planting of cereals in 2020 and 2019.

The area used to grow winter crops fell by 13 per cent compared to the previous year. This is mostly due to a decrease in area used to grow wheat, which also fell by 13 per cent to 93,800 hectares.

The decrease in winter planted crops is linked to extremely wet conditions last autumn. This meant that farmers could only plant reduced areas of wheat, barley and oats. Heavy rainfall at the start of 2020 also made planting and growing difficult.

Area used to grow cereals and oilseed rape: 467,000 hectares

Winter planted crops are generally sown in autumn and grown during the winter. Spring planted crops are generally sown during the first three months of the year. Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, make it difficult for farmers to sow their crops.

The decreased area of winter planted crops and a dry spring resulted in an increased spring planting. Spring planted crops increased eight per cent compared to 2019. This was driven by a 19 per cent increase in oats, and a seven per cent increase in barley.

Contact

Email: agric.stats@gov.scot

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