England's wheat area rises by 31% on last year -ministry

Rise represented a return to more expected levels following a large reduction last year

  
Combines harvest wheat in a field of Triticum farm in Omsk Region, Russia September 16, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Combines harvest wheat in a field of Triticum farm in Omsk Region, Russia September 16, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko

LONDON - The wheat area in England for this year's harvest rose 31% from 2020 to 1.66 million hectares, Britain's farm ministry said on Thursday, issuing the results of its June survey.

The increase was slightly bigger than the provisional 28% rise seen by the ministry last month.

The ministry said the rise represented a return to more expected levels following a large reduction last year.

The previous season's wet weather during the autumn planting window for wheat forced many farmers to switch to spring-sown crops such as spring barley.

Rapeseed plantings in England were estimated by the ministry to have fallen by 22% to 268,000 hectares.

Farmers in England have cut back rapeseed plantings in recent years partly due to problems controlling cabbage stem flea beetle, crop analysts have said.

Curbs on the use of a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids have led to problems controlling the beetles.

Spring barley area in England fell 41% to 471,000 hectares while winter barley plantings rose 36% to 345,000 hectares, also reflecting the shift from spring to winter sown crops.

(Reporting by Nigel Hunt. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((nigel.hunt@thomsonreuters.com; +44 (0) 7990 561421; Reuters Messaging: nigel.hunt.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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