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Estimates of crop yields and production in 2012

Yield and production estimates for the main cereal crops and potatoes for the year 2012 were issued today by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
Thursday, 6 December 2012

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 almost 170 farms.

Estimates for the areas of each crop were published as part of the results of the June Agricultural Census on 29 November 2012. The following estimates refer to crop yields and production:

· Barley: Total production of barley has decreased to approximately 127,000 tonnes. Production has fallen due to a reduction in the area planted of winter barley and lower yields for both winter (6.1 t/ha) and spring (4.7 t/ha) crops. Planting conditions were difficult in the autumn of 2011 (reducing the area of winter barley planted) while weather conditions throughout the 2012 growing season adversely affected crop development.

· Wheat: Production has decreased by over one third from 2011 levels to 56,000 tonnes due to a decrease in the area planted of 19% and a fall in yields of 23% to 6.0 t/ha.

· Oats: Production of oats has decreased by 29% to 9,000 tonnes. Again, both the yields of oats (4.8 t/ha) and area planted have decreased in 2012.

· Potatoes: The pre-harvest production estimate of maincrop ware and seed potatoes of 133,500 tonnes is 30% lower in 2012 than that for 2011. This is due to the combination of a decrease of 14% in the area planted and 19% in the average yield to 33 t/ha. The total pre-harvest estimate, including early varieties for Northern Ireland is 135,500 tonnes. Adverse weather conditions may reduce the final tonnage harvested.

Provisional results from DEFRA show that UK yields of spring barley, wheat and oats have all fallen compared with 2011. This link provides the latest UK results.

Tables showing Northern Ireland results can be accessed on the DARD website.

Notes to editors:

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