Results from the June 2016 Scottish Agriculture Census

Statistics regarding the area of crops and other farmland, livestock, agriculture workforce and rented farmland, for Scotland in 2016.

1. Main Findings

The results show that, compared with June 2015:

Cereal area decreased by 11,500 hectares (three per cent) to 432,000 hectares. This was driven by a fall in the area of spring barley (down 17,000 hectares or seven per cent. ( Table 1a)

Down arrow 17,000 ha

Up right arrow 30 ha

Up arrow 5,600 ha

The area of oilseed rape decreased by 5,100 hectares (14.5 per cent) to 31,000 hectares. Oilseed is mainly winter-planted, with the area of spring oilseed rape now being the lowest since current records began in 1984. ( Table 1a)

Oilseed rape
Down arrow 5,100 ha

The area grown with potatoes increased by 1,800 hectares (seven per cent) to 27,500 hectares, the first rise since 2009. Areas of both ware and seed potatoes rose (eight and five per cent respectively). ( Table 1b)

Up arrow 1,800 ha

Crops for stockfeed decreased eight per cent. The area of fruit increased by 57 hectares (three per cent), while there was a nine per cent increase in the area of vegetables for human consumption. ( Tables 1b, 2b)

Up arrow 57 ha

Down arrow 1,400 ha

Up arrow 1,500 ha

The area of fallow land increased by 30 per cent to 43,000 hectares, as farmers continued to adapt to crop diversification requirements. ( Table 1c)

Up arrow 10,000 ha

The total number of cattle dropped, marginally, by 1,800 (0.1 per cent) to 1.80 million. However, there has been a longer-term decline in numbers since 1974. The number of female dairy cattle fell by 1,600 (0.6 per cent) to 276,000, while the number of beef cattle rose by 1,500 (0.2 per cent) to 711,000. ( Table 3)

Down right arrow 1,800

The total number of sheep rose by 125,000 (two per cent) to 6.83 million, with a rise in numbers for all categories. Breeding ewe numbers rose by 30,000 (1.2 per cent) while other sheep for breeding went up, slightly, by 1,800 (0.2 per cent). Lamb numbers rose by 90,000 (three per cent). ( Table 4)

Up arrow 125,000

The total number of pigs rose by 12,500 (four per cent) to 330,000, the third annual rise in a row. This rise was driven by a rise in the number of fattening pigs, which rose by 15,000 (five per cent). The breeding herd rose only slightly, by 124 (0.4 per cent) over the period. ( Table 5)

Up arrow 12,500

The poultry flock increased by 1.06 million (eight per cent) to 14.11 million. This was largely driven by an increase in the number of broilers (up 840,000 or 15 per cent) but also by an increase in the laying flock of 216,000 (3.5 per cent). ( Table 6)

Up arrow 1.06 million

The headcount number of people working in agriculture was 63,400, a drop of 1,900 (3 per cent). ( Table 8b) Workforce
Down arrow 1,900
The amount of agricultural land that was rented for one year fell, marginally, by 180 hectares to remain around 1.32 million hectares, constituting 23 per cent of agricultural land. ( Table 9)

Rented land
Down right arrow 180 ha

There has been a slight decrease of 22 holdings (0.3 per cent) in the estimated number of holdings with tenancy agreements (excluding crofts), to 6,600. ( Tables 10 and 11) Tenanted holdings Down right arrow 22

(diagonal arrows indicate changes of less than one per cent)

Census 2016 Summary Graphic


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