Results from the December 2012 Scottish Agricultural Survey

This publication contains results from the 2012 December Agricultural Survey covering

winter sown crops, hay and silage production, livestock and machinery. It provides

commentary and graphics on the latest annual changes and trends over the past ten years,

together with comparisons with June Census results.

This document is part of a collection

2. Main findings


Please note that the figures below contain a correction from the original publication. In the third bullet point, the change in the number of dairy cows has been corrected from 1,788 to 450.

Comparisons between the 2011 and 2012 December Survey results show:

  • An overall decrease in winter crop areas of 9,773 hectares (5.2 per cent), down to 179,718 hectares. Within this there was a drop in areas of wheat (down 14,556 hectares or 14.8 per cent to 84,070 hectares) and oilseed rape (down 611 hectares or 1.7 per cent to 35,045 hectares), while there were increases in areas of barley (up 5,079 hectares or 10.4 per cent to 53,908 hectares) and oats (up 315 hectares or 4.9 per cent to 6,695 hectares). (Table 1)
  • Annual production of grass silage/haylage fell by 218,677 tonnes (3.3 per cent) to 6.4 million tonnes. Similarly there was a decrease in the production of hay of 80,191 tonnes (30.8 per cent) to 179,750 tonnes and in arable silage production of 17,582 tonnes (5.6 per cent) to 298,938 tonnes. (Table 1)
  • The number of cattle decreased by 8,412 (0.5 per cent) to 1.72 million, a slightly smaller percentage fall than the 0.9 per cent shown between the 2011 and 2012 June figures. As has been the case for the last ten years, the December numbers were slightly lower than the June numbers. Since December 2011 there was a decrease in the number of beef cows of 3,952 (0.9 per cent) to 456,155, and a decrease in the number of dairy cows of 450 (0.3 per cent) to 179,173. (Table 2)
  • The number of sheep increased for the first time since 2004, by 198,301 (4.4 per cent) to 4.66 million. The number of lambs decreased by 1.56 million (47.6 per cent) between June and December 2012, compared to the 1.76 million (52.9 per cent) decrease seen in 2011. (Table 3)
  • The number of pigs decreased by 46,971 (12.8 per cent) to 321,097, showing a larger drop than the 6.8 per cent decrease seen in the 2012 June Census. (Table 4)
  • The number of poultry increased by 0.84 million (6.0 per cent) to 14.80 million birds, higher than the 1.2 per cent increase reported in the 2012 June Census. (Table 5)
  • There was a decrease in the number of tractors of 225 (0.6 per cent) to 39,999. (Table 6)


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