SCOTLAND, UK - A first look towards this year’s harvest shows an increase in winter crop areas but livestock numbers have continued to fall.
Scotland's Chief Statistician has released the latest results from the December Agricultural Survey.
The area of winter-sown crops in December 2013 was up 12 per cent on the previous December, with 20,000 hectares more wheat and a thousand hectares more oilseed rape and oats. The area of winter barley remained fairly similar to 2012, but most barley is sown in the spring. These increases bring the total winter crop area back to levels last seen in 2010.
Livestock numbers, however, continued to fall. Compared with December 2012, there were decreases in each of the four main categories, sheep (down three per cent), cattle (down two per cent), pigs (down nine per cent) and poultry (down six per cent), though there was a two per cent increase in the number of dairy cattle.
The results also show that the amount of hay, grass silage and arable silage all saw increases in 2013. There was also a fall in the number of tractors and various other categories of machinery, which may reflect the increased use of contract working.
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