Results from the Scottish Agricultural Census: June 2023

Final results from the 2023 June Agricultural Census on land use, crop areas, livestock and the number of people working on agricultural holdings. Estimates for 2022 are published in the supporting documents.

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Most arable land will be included in rotation if crop rotation is present 

Crop rotation is the practice of alternating crops grown on a specific field each year in a planned pattern or sequence. The proportion of arable land included in a holding’s crop rotation can indicate the degree to which this practice is done. The opposite of crop rotation is continuous cropping, where the same crop is grown on the same piece of land for multiple years. Repeatedly growing the same crop on the same land is linked to environmental disadvantages and can have adverse effects on the productive capacity of the land. Of the holdings with arable land, 85 per cent (3,600) had at least 75 per cent or more land in general crop rotation (a total of 562,700 hectares).

Information on crop rotation in this section was collected from a subset of those responding to the census. Information included in crop rotation was provided by 4,200 holdings, 24 per cent of the total respondents.

Figure 2: Chart of the number of holdings with general cropping land in crop rotation, 2023 

Bar chart with three bars showing the number of holdings using crop rotation. There are 100 holdings with 1 to 24 per cent of their land in crop rotation, 500 holdings have 25 to 74 per cent of their land in crop rotation and 3,600 holdings have 75 to 100 per cent of land in crop rotation. This information was provided by 4,200 holdings.



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