Provisional results from Defra’s June Survey of Agriculture confirm a record English spring barley area at 478,000ha, 15% up on 2016 and the highest in records going back to 1997.

The oilseed rape crop is 4% down at 522,000ha; wheat drops 3% to 1.64Mha and winter barley by4% to 361,000ha. The oats crop has increased by 17% to 120,000ha.

“Spring barley continues to benefit from a surge in interest in spring cropping, as part of efforts to tackle agronomic challenges, including the control of black-grass, plus as a replacement for previously lost oilseed rape crops,” notes AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds. “Along with the winter barley area remaining high, this means England may have a strong need to export barley this season – dependent on final yields and quality.