Yield and production estimates for the main cereal crops and potatoes for the year 2017 were issued today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
The estimates for cereal yields were obtained from a post-harvest survey of 235 growers, whilst potato estimates were derived from a survey involving pre-harvest digs covering potato crops on approximately 75 farms. It should be noted that the cereal yield estimates relate to crops harvested by November 2017.
In addition to providing cereal yields, the post-harvest survey confirmed that due to the adverse weather during 2017 some growers had crop areas that became unsuitable for harvesting and in comparison to the previous year an increased proportion of the crop area was ensiled as wholecrop. Across the harvested crops there was also an increased level of variability in their yields which shows the difficulties that some growers experienced due to localised weather and ground conditions.
Estimates for the areas of each crop were published as part of the results of the June Agricultural Census on 30th November 2017. The following estimates refer to crop yields and production:
Total production of barley has decreased to approximately 114,400 tonnes, a fall of 8%. The overall area grown decreased by 5% from 2016 levels with the area of spring crops decreasing by 5% and the area of winter crops decreasing by 7%. This reduced area combined with the lower yield for spring barley of 4.7 tonnes per hectare has resulted in the lower production. Winter barley yields were relatively unchanged from 2016 at 6.8 tonnes per hectare. Later harvesting due to adverse weather conditions would have had a detrimental effect on barley crop yields in 2017.
Production of wheat increased from 2016 levels to 67,200 tonnes, an increase of 12%. The area grown increased by 1% to 8,700 hectares, therefore most of the increased production was achieved by an increase in yields to 7.7 tonnes per hectare. Last year wheat yields dipped to a relatively low level with the 2017 yield still below the level recorded for 2015.
Oat yields increased by 5% to 5.6 tonnes per hectare in 2017 but has not returned to the level recorded in 2015. As the total area of oats planted has not changed since 2016, total estimated production has also increased by 5% to 12,700 tonnes in 2017.
The pre-harvest production estimate of maincrop ware and seed potatoes is 153,400 tonnes, an 18% increase from 2016. In 2017 the area planted increased by 8% to 4,100ha while yields increased by 9%. The total pre-harvest estimate, including early varieties also increased by 18 per cent to 155,000 tonnes.
Provisional results from DEFRA show that total UK yields of barley, wheat and oats have all increased compared with 2016. The link below provides the latest UK results: www.gov.uk/government/collections/structure-of-the-agricultural-industry(external link opens in a new window / tab)
Tables showing Northern Ireland results can be accessed on the DAERA website at the following link: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/statistics/statistical-bulletins
The survey results were prepared by Statistics and Analytical Services Branch, CAP Policy, Economics and Statistics Division of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3SB.
DAERA statistics are produced in accordance with the principles and protocols set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The following link provides information on the way DAERA complies with these principles: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/statistics/about-daera-statistics
All recent DAERA statistical bulletins can be found on the DAERA website: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/statistics/statistical-bulletins
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All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email to DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
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Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs - Northern Ireland Government published this content on 07 December 2017 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.
Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 07 December 2017 16:51:03 UTC.