Planting and Variety Survey

07 July 2022
The Planting and Variety Survey provides the UK planted area estimates for the upcoming harvest. Broken down not only into crops but also by UK flour miller group and malting or non-malting approved feed barley.

Overview

This year’s Planting and Variety Survey provides planted area estimates for the whole of the UK. In previous years, the survey has only captured information for GB.

  • In 2022 the UK wheat area is estimated at 1,807Kha, 1% up from 2021.
  • The total UK barley area for harvest 2022 is estimated at 1,103Kha, down 4% on the year. The UK spring barley area is estimated at 656Kha, down 12% year-on-year, while the winter barley area is estimated to be 10% higher at 447Kha.
  • The UK oat area is estimated at 183Kha, 9% down year-on-year.
  • At 336Kha, the UK oilseed rape (OSR) area is 9% higher than 2021 levels.
  • For harvest 2022 KWS-Extase is the most popular wheat variety with 14% of the total wheat area. For barley, Laureate is the most popular variety, accounting for 32% of the total barley area.

Wheat

The UK wheat area for harvest 2022 is estimated to increase by 1% year-on-year to 1,807Kha.

With Autumn weather relatively benign in 2021, planting intentions remained largely unchanged from the results of the Early Bird Survey which was published at the end of 2021.

The annual increase in wheat area has been at the expense of spring barley and oats, which are both down on the year.

Regionally there hasn’t been any notable large shifts in area. However, the last 12 months of inflated wheat prices has provided area increases in the North East (+19%) and North West (+23%), equating to a total increase of 20.1Kha in these regions. Furthermore, at 80Kha, the wheat area in the North East is the largest area planted to wheat in this region on records going back to 1999.

The wheat area in Yorkshire and Humberside has marginally increased (+0.3%) to 229Kha. Demand in this region, as well as the North East, is likely to be strong in the 2022/23 marketing year, with both UK bio-ethanol plants expected to be fully operational.

The wheat area in the East Midlands and South East is expected to be down slightly by 2% and 3% respectively. However, the increase in area in the Eastern region (+3%) offsets these declines.

In terms of varieties, estimated areas for Group 1 and 2 varieties account for 42% of the 2022 UK wheat area.

KWS-Extase is the most popular variety at 14% of total area. However, Gleam is only slightly behind at 11% of total area.

Barley

With a decrease in spring barley area for 2022 (-89Kha), outweighing an increase in winter barley area (+42Kha), the total UK barley area is estimated to be down 4% year-on-year at 1,103Kha.

Overall, 59% of the total UK barley area is malting barley varieties, with full approval from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

Laureate is the most popular variety and accounts for 32% of total area, while RGT-Planet is second accounting for 11% of total area.

Winter Barley

The overall winter barley area for 2022 has increased by 10% year-on-year to 447Kha. All area in the UK (except North East (-8%), South West (-8%) & NI (-3%)) has recorded an increase in area for 2022.

The largest area increase is in the Eastern region with an increase of 13.4Kha year-on-year. Other larger area increases have been noted in East Midlands (+20%) and West Midlands (+32%).

Spring Barley

The spring barley area is recorded at 656Kha, down 12% on the year and is the lowest spring barley area in the UK since 2014. The reduction in spring barley is due to UK growers increasing their area in winter cereals.

Every single region in the UK has recorded a drop in spring barley area for harvest 2022. With the most sizable area reductions in Yorkshire and Humberside (-35%), Eastern (-19%) and West Midlands (-49%). The decline in these regions combined equates to 59Kha of the total 89Kha area reduction in the UK.

Oats

The area for oats in the UK is estimated at 183Kha, down 9% year-on-year. After the last two years of sizeable areas, the oat area has contracted back down to levels recorded in 2019 (182Kha). However, this remains historically high.

Sizable reductions are estimated in Yorkshire and Humberside (-36%) and the East Midlands (-21%), equating to 10.3Kha of the total 17.1Kha year-on-year reduction in the total UK area.

The fall in oat area comes as some growers turn back to sowing OSR for harvest 2022, as increased prices offer the incentive to grow.

Oilseed Rape

The area of OSR is estimated at 336Kha, up 9% year-on-year. With an inflated OSR market over the last 12 months, growers have had the incentive to sow this break crop, with reduced yields potentially being offset by higher prices.

The area estimated for harvest 2022 is down from the 359Kha estimated in the Early Bird Survey, indicating a possible crop-loss of c.6%, since the end of 2021.

The most notable increases are estimated in Yorkshire and Humberside (+29%) and the East Midlands (+20%). The increase in these regions combined equates to 23Kha of the 28Kha overall area increase in the UK.

Additional Information

  • The survey had 911 valid responses. Growers were asked to submit intended harvest areas and the area harvested last year. Data for this survey was collected during the months of April, May and June 2022.
  • Due to a low response rate, West Midlands and Wales have been combined for oats and oilseed rape crops.
  • Percentage changes¹) are based on comparisons to the Defra 2021 June Survey of Agriculture. Please note, that for oilseed rape²) Defra only produce winter crop areas for the English regions. Therefore, to enable a consistent comparison with Scottish results, the English spring oilseed rape area from harvest 2021 has been apportioned in the same ratio as the winter crops and included in the regional totals for harvest 2022.
  • Regional breakdowns are based on the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) regions. North Scotland consists of the Highlands & Islands and the North East regions. South Scotland consist of Southern, Eastern and West Central regions.
  • Please note that totals may not agree due to rounding.

Historic Spring Planting and Variety Survey results

Dataset

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