Full provisional Defra crop production estimates

Thursday, 10 October 2019


As highlighted on Tuesday, Defra provisional crop estimates for national wheat production came in at 16.283Mt. This is broadly in line with expectations, with a national yield no higher than recorded in 2015, of 9.0t/ha.


Defra’s provisional production estimates for winter and spring barley at 8.180Mt were higher than market expectations. Record spring barley yields are underpinning this.

At 6.5t/ha on a national UK level, this would be the highest spring barley yield on record, and 1.0t/ha above the 10 year average, leading to a 4.631Mt production estimate.

The AHDB Harvest Report findings were for a more modest year on year increase in spring barley yields, at 5.8-6.0t/ha. This would place yields between that of 2014 and 2015. The dry conditions in early summer had curbed some of the higher yield expectations, especially on lighter land.

Provisional national winter yields of 7.9t/ha are the highest on record. However, they are just 0.2t/ha more than the previous high in 2015. Again, Defra provisional yields are greater than recorded by the AHDB Harvest report (7.4-7.6t/ha).


Provisional production estimates for oats of 1.082Mt, if realised, would be the largest crop since 1972. This could create a requirement to export significantly greater tonnages than in recent years. With UK national yields of 6.0t/ha, this is in line with 2014 and 2015 and a 1Mt crop in line with expectations.

Oilseed rape

Provisional estimates have oilseed rape production at 1.750Mt. UK yields for oilseed rape at 3.3t/ha are below the 5 year average, but far from the lowest on record and in line with the AHDB Harvest Report findings of between 3.2-3.5t/ha. Yet at 529Kha the area is above the Planting and Variety Survey findings. Additionally, questions have been posed about the area that was actually harvested relative to what remained planted at the time of both surveys being conducted.

Peter Collier

Arable Analyst

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