The AHDB has revised its Early Bird survey of 2018 crop planting intentions in the light of more data since it was first run in late October and early November last year. The survey is based on data collected and collated by the Association of Independent Agronomists (AICC) and the Andersons Centre. The update replaces the traditional AHDB Winter Planting Survey.

The wheat area is reduced to 1.748 million hectares from the earlier 1.752mha estimate – 2% down on Defra’s 1.792m ha for harvest 2017.

Winter barley is now 382,000ha (388,000ha), 10% lower than 2017’s 423,000ha. But the spring barley figure is revised up to 814,000ha from the earlier 773,000ha estimate, and is 7% up on the 754,000ha for 2017.

Oats are now predicted at 167,000ha (160,000ha) and are 4% higher than 2017’s 161,000ha crop.

The AHDB’s oilseed rape estimate now stands at 622,000ha, a 6,000ha rise on its first prediction and an 11% increase on 2017, marking the first rise in sowings after five years of decline. There is no change in the pulse area estimate of 219,000ha, which is a 6% decrease on the 2017 hectarage of 233,000ha.