Farming News - Final estimates of 2019 crop production from Defra

Final estimates of 2019 crop production from Defra

20 Dec 2019
Arable / Finance

This morning Defra released the final estimates of 2019 production, including regional results. On a UK scale the results are largely unchanged versus the previous release in October. UK wheat, barley and oat production have all seen minor downward revisions, largely on the back of lower yield estimates. Meanwhile, oilseed rape production has been revised up all be it by just 2Kt.

OSR yields down in the South, up in the North

The regional picture for oilseed rape area reflects the pattern seen in the AHDB Planting and Variety survey results, albeit to varying degrees. When we look at the production figures however we can see the increasing challenges faced in the domestic market.

The largest drop in OSR production year-on-year, is seen for the East Midlands. Yields in the East Midlands reportedly declined by 12.6% versus 2018, this has resulted in an 110Kt drop in production. Similar yield challenges were seen in the South East, another region typically dogged by Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle. Regions further to the north saw yield increases according to the results of the survey, but, the declines in area fundamentally drove production losses in all regions except Wales.

Oat production up in low demand regions

The increase in oat production provides a significant challenge for the domestic market. This is especially true when we start to get into the detail of where the increased oat production is. Oat production is up 93.7% in the East Midlands an area where demand is limited. Similar increases have been seen in the South East and South West, areas that will likely be heavily reliant on exports to shift the surplus.

The rise in oat production in the South goes someway to explain the suppressed feed oat ex-farm price. The average ex-farm price of oats in trade to 12 December was just £104.80/t.