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Crop development

This interactive tool helps show the condition and growth stages of different crops. The chart is split into regions and uses colours to show different conditions. You can also use the bottom chart to see growth stages of cereals or oilseeds. The data for this interactive report is updated monthly.

Overview

Today the latest ADAS Crop Condition report is released to review crop conditions as at mid-May 2020. These results will provide a key insight to the development of winter cereals and oilseeds, furthermore it will give us a view on the establishment and state of spring cropping.

As we see fields full of heading winter barley amid spring dryness, the 2019-20 growing season has been a challenging one to say the least.

It is key to analyse how problematic planting conditions and a dry spring have caused a concern to crop conditions and how this is a stark contrast to this time last year (May-2019).

Regional results and growth stages

Don't forget to scroll down the page to use our interactive dashboard to review regional crop condition results and crop growth stages.

Crop condition was assessed using the USDA approach. This classifies crops into one of five categories, from very poor through to excellent (see details below). The values are given as the percentage of the GB crop area for that crop that falls in each of the categories – regional condition scores are available on the crop reporting dashboard on the AHDB website. The data presented below is the current (as of end of March) condition of the crops that remain in the ground and does not include any crops that failed over winter and have already been replaced with alternative crops.

  • Very Poor - Extreme degree of loss to yield potential, complete or near crop failure.
  • Poor - Heavy degree of loss to yield potential, which can be caused by excess soil moisture, drought, disease, etc.
  • Fair - Less than normal crop condition. Yield loss is a possibility, but the extent is unknown.
  • Good - Yield prospects are normal. Moisture levels are adequate and disease, insect damage, and weed pressures are minor.
  • Excellent - Yield prospects are above normal. Crops are experiencing little or no stress. Disease, insect damage, and weed pressures are insignificant.

Wheat

Winter

With an estimated 78% of area drilled in the autumn into wet cloddy seed beds. This has caused patchy establishment of winter cropping. Crops drilled in September time before the worst of the weather set in are in considerably better condition.

Recent dryness and wind have meant some crops are starting to show signs of stress and tiller loss.

 

In the latest report 26% of winter wheat is rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’, this is a considerably large increase from last year when it was 5%. Furthermore, conditions have got worse since March’s report this figure was 18%.

Current 43% is rated ‘fair’, when this time last year that figure was only 13%. There is also an increase on March’s report where 27% was rated ‘fair’.

31% has been rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent, a considerable decrease on last year when this figure was 83%. There has also been a revision down from March’s figure which was 49%.

Spring

In the latest report 33% was rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’. A large increase on the 2% from this time last year. 45% has been rated ‘fair’, considerably higher than last year when this was 6%. 22% has been rated at ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, a large reduction on last year when this figure was 92%.

OSR

Winter OSR has again been a challenge this year for many growers, with outstanding crops becoming harder to find.

Worse affected crops were those which lay in wet and waterlogged areas for months, then rapidly dried out resulting in poor nitrogen uptake.

There has been poor establishment through autumn and winter, with cabbage stem flea beetle (CFSB) adults and subsequently larvae feeding on crops. This combined with pigeon grazing has result in the loss and a poor standard of crops.

The AHDB Early Bird Survey re-run in February estimated that the OSR area had reduced by 45kha from December’s survey to reach 361kha.

ADAS suggest that since February an additional 25Kha has been lost, or not planted in the case of planned spring OSR. This would suggest an OSR area of circa 336kha at mid-May, nearly 200kha lower than last year’s crop area.

The worse affected areas are reported to be in southern England, the East of England, East Midlands and Yorkshire, where 20-30% of the crops are in very poor condition.

Winter

 

In the latest report 41% of winter OSR was rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’. There is the expectation that of the 15% in a ‘very poor’ condition there will be large yield reductions compared to normal.

This is significantly up from this time last year when it was 19%. There has even been an increase from March’s report where this figure was at 37%.

In the latest report 39% was rated ‘fair’, this is up from 32% from last year. There has also been an increase from March’s report which was at 37%.

Only 20% of has been rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, this is a significant reduction on last year when this was at 50%. There has also been a reduction on last March’s report which was 26%.

Spring

The majority of spring oilseed rape was planted in March with the remaining area planted in April.

In the latest report 40% of spring OSR was rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’. This is a considerable increase on last year when this figure was 21%.

31% was rated ‘fair’, this is only a slight reduction on last year where this was at 35%.

Moreover, 28% in the latest report was rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. This is a reduction on last year when this was at 43%.

Barley

Winter

A significant proportion of winter barley was drilled in September in dry conditions with a good seed bed, therefore establishment was good.

In the latest report 27% was rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’, this is considerably higher when last may it was only 1%. There has also been an increase on March’s report where this figure was 18%.

48% has been rated ‘fair’, again a considerable uplift from last year when this figure was only 11%. There has also been an increase on March’s figure which was 37%.

25% of winter barley has been rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent, only a fraction of this time last year when this figure was at 89%. There has also been a considerable revision from March’s report when this figure was at 45%.

Spring

As of the middle of May all intended spring barley was drilled. This crop was favoured over unsuccessfully drilled winter and failed OSR crops.

In the latest report 13% is rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’, this is up from last year when this figure was only 3%.

38% has been rated at ‘fair’, this is up from last year where this figure was only 21%.

Finally, 48% has been rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, considerably lower when this figure was 75%.

Out of all the crops in the latest report spring barley appears to be in the best condition.

Oats

The majority of winter oats were drilled in September and October, with the occasional crop drilled into February and March.

 

In the latest report 21% has been rated ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’. This is up a considerable amount on last year when this figure was only 4%. This has increased on March’s report to when this figure was at 14%.

42% of the crop has been rated as ‘fair’, again considerably higher than last year when this figure was at 13%. A large increase on March’s report which was 27%.

37% was rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’, down significantly on last year when this figure was 82%. There has also been a reduction in March’s report when this figure was at 53%.

Concluding thoughts

From large amount of rain throughout autumn and winter to a prolonged spring dryness. The weather has been against the grower throughout this season.

As planting and growing conditions were ideal last year this make’s the UK situation seem just that little bit worse.

What is key to note is that from mid- autumn it has been anticipated that the UK was going to be in a wheat deficit for next year, but this recent crop development report make this deficit seems possibly larger than anticipated. 

 


Download the latest crop development report




How to use the dashboard

  • Use the drop down menu at the top of the first chart to view the crop conditions of a particular crop in each region.

  • Use the drop down menus at the top of the second chart to view the percentage of a crop at each growth stage. The drop down menus can also be used to show the information for a particular region.