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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with Greek
13 October, 2023

Barley news UK: Barley production 2023 estimated at 7 mln tonnes

Defra and the Scottish government released on October 12 provisional data crop areas, yields and production. This information gives us a first insight into what the UK production is for 2023 harvest.

Wales and NI have not yet released area and production data, so within this article they are assumed to be the same as last year. This follows Defra’s methodology from when a UK provisional figure was last released in 2021.

UK total barley production is estimated at 7.0 Mt for 2023. This is down from 7.4 Mt harvested in 2022 and is below the five-year average (2018–2022) of 7.4 Mt.

Total barley area for harvest is provisionally estimated at 1,126 Kha, up 2% year-on-year. However, production is down overall, notably due to lower spring barley yields.

UK winter barley production is estimated at 3.2 Mt for 2023. This is marginally up (+14 Kt) from 2022 harvest, and is above the five-year average (2018–2022) of 2.8 Mt.

Similar to wheat, most regions in the UK have lower yields than last year. The exceptions are the Eastern region where yields are estimated at 7.3 t/ha, up from 7.1 t/ha in 2022 and the West Midlands where there’s marginal increase. When regional yields are compared to their previous five-year averages, all areas are higher, apart from the North of England and the South East.

UK spring barley production is estimated at 3.8 Mt for 2023; this is down by 418 Kt from 2022 harvest, and is below the five-year average (2018–2022) of 4.6 Mt.

Nationally spring barley yields have reduced this year, with every region in England and Scotland being down on both the year and on the five-year averages. But there is large variation nationally.

Yields in the North of England were poor, with the average North East and West yields estimated at 3.9 t/ha and 3.0 t/ha, respectively. This is 35% and 34%, respectively below their five-year averages. However, only marginal reductions from the five-year average are recorded in the South East (-1%) and Eastern (-1%) region of England.

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