Scottish Agricultural Census: final results - June 2020

Final results from the 2020 June Agricultural Census on land use, crop areas, livestock and the number of people working on agricultural holdings. These results replace the provisional figures published on 6 October 2020.

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Scottish sheep flock continues to recover

A chart showing a breakdown of the total sheep numbers from 2010-2020.

After the "Beast from the East" in 2018, the total number of sheep continued to recover, increasing by one per cent to 6.72 million sheep. This is slightly below the ten-year average.

The number of ewes and other sheep has remained relatively stable over the past ten years. The number of lambs has been more volatile. 

Number of sheep

6.72 million 

As the "Beast from the East" snow storm hit Scotland during the lambing season 2018, many new born lambs were unable to survive the harsh weather conditions.

A favourable lambing season saw lamb numbers continue to increase, by two per cent to 3.32 million lambs. However, current numbers are still two per cent lower than they were in 2017. 

Number of poultry

14.4 million 

A chart showing birds for meat production and birds for egg production from 2010-2020.

Poultry numbers decreased over the past year. There were an estimated 14.4 million poultry birds, a drop of four per cent. This decline in numbers is due to a 13 per cent drop in birds for egg production, to 6.2 million. The number of birds for meat production increased by eight per cent, to 6.7 million. 

Number of pigs 

338 thousand 

A chart showing total pig numbers from 2010-2020.

There were around 338 thousand pigs, a rise of six per cent. This number is only slightly below the ten-year average. The increase may be due to an increase in pig prices, partly due to world supply being impacted by swine flu. 

Other livestock: 

34,000 horses
5,100 beehives
14,100 farmed deer 
2,100 camelids
6,900 goats
1,400 donkeys 



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