Scotland’s 2022 harvest hits record for cereal yields

The Chief Statistician for Scotland has released figures on the 2022 Scottish harvest that show it was a record year for cereal yields, boosted by long periods of hot and dry conditions.

Total cereal yield was at a 20 year high, rising 14% to 7.6 tonnes per hectare in 2022.

Production increased by 10% from 2.9 million tonnes in 2021 to 3.1 million tonnes.

Despite a small reduction in sown area, levels for cereal production were the highest since 2014.

Yields for winter barley, wheat and oilseed rape were the highest reported in the last 20 years.

Production of oilseed rape was 16% higher than the average figure reported for the last decade.

“Prolonged hot and dry conditions in spring and summer favoured a remarkably early finish and low moisture levels,” said the Scottish Government.

“Above average yields in 2022 more than compensated for a small decrease in the overall sown area of cereals.

“This decrease was largely driven by reductions in spring barley and oats.

“The sown area of spring barley fell by 5% from 2021, yet high yields resulted in a 17% rise in production.

“Oats were the only crop to fall in production. A 20% decrease in the sown area of oats resulted in a 9% decrease in production compared to 2021.

“Winter barley, wheat and oilseed rape saw increases in sown area.

“Coupled with the  best yields reported in the last 20 years, production for these crops exceeded the ten-year average.

“High yield, combined with a 7% increase in sown area resulted in record production for oilseed rape at 151 thousand tonnes.”