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UK Farming Statistics

19 December 2013

UK Farming Statistics - Final Crop Areas, Yields, Livestock Populations and Agricultural Workforce at 1 June 2013UK Farming Statistics - Final Crop Areas, Yields, Livestock Populations and Agricultural Workforce at 1 June 2013

UK Farming Statistics

This release contains the final estimates of land use, crop areas, livestock populations, the agricultural workforce on agricultural holdings and the size of the UK cereals and oilseed rape harvest for 2013. These results replace those provisional results published on 17 October 2013.

Agricultural land areas

The total utilised agricultural area (UAA) in the UK is 17.3 million hectares. There has been an increase of 66% in uncropped arable land which rose from 153 to 255 thousand hectares between 2012 and 2013. This was largely as a result of poor weather conditions leaving many farmers unable to plant crops.

Crop yields and production

Wheat: The 2013 wheat harvest for the UK is 11.9 million tonnes, a decrease of 10% on 2012. This drop in production has been driven by the large fall in planted area, a decrease of 19% since last year to 1.6 million hectares. The decrease in planted area is a result of the prolonged wet weather leading to very difficult planting conditions. Improved yields have slightly offset the impact of the fall in area with yields increasing by 11% since 2012 to 7.4 tonnes per hectare.

Oilseed rape: The oilseed rape harvest has shown a decline of 17% to 2.1 million tonnes for 2013. This has been the result of falls in both yield and planted area. The yield has decreased by 12% to 3.0 tonnes per hectare following the very poor weather over the winter and spring. The area has decreased by 5.4% to 715 thousand hectares.

Barley: Production for 2013 has shown a large increase of 28% to 7.1 million tonnes. This increase has been driven by the large increase in the area of spring barley planted which increased by 46% to 903 thousand hectares. The area of winter barley decreased by 19% to 310 thousand hectares following difficult planting conditions throughout the winter. The yield for barley increased by 6.1% to 5.8 tonnes per hectare.

Horticultural crops

The horticultural crop area has decreased by 5.0% between 2012 and 2013, now standing at 163 thousand hectares. Vegetables and salad for human consumption accounts for almost three quarters of the horticultural area and decreased by 6.1% from 123 thousand hectares in 2012 to 116 thousand hectares in 2013.


  • The total number of cattle and calves decreased by 0.6% from 9.9 million in 2012 to 9.8 million in 2013. Both the beef herd and the dairy herd have seen decreases of 2.8% and 1.6% respectively. The beef herd now stands at 1.6 million and the dairy herd at just under 1.8 million. Male cattle have increased by 0.4% this year to just under 2.8 million.

  • Pig numbers have increased by 9.0% from 4.5 million in 2012 to 4.9 million in 2013. The increase is mainly due to the 10% increase in fattening pigs, with fat pigs weighing less than 20kg seeing the largest proportional increase of 16%.

  • The UK population of sheep and lambs has risen by 2.0% to almost 33 million animals; this increase reflects an increase in all categories of sheep at the UK level.

  • Total poultry increased by 1.6% to 163 million birds in 2013. This increase was largely due to the 2.0% increase in broilers (table chicken) which rose to almost 105 million birds.

Agricultural workforce

The total number of people working on agricultural holdings in the UK is 464 thousand, a decrease of 3.6% from June 2012. The largest proportional decrease was seen in seasonal, casual and gang labour which fell by 8.5%.

December 2013

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