Scotland’s chief statistician has released first estimates of the 2023 Scottish harvest – revealing that the total cereal production is expected to be around 3 million tonnes.

The statistics, released today (Thursday, October 12), predict that cereal production will remain in line with the ten-year average despite “significant challenges” during the year, the Scottish government said.

These challenges include high input costs and poor weather conditions.

Early estimates for yields of barley, oats and oilseed rape are below 2022 levels, but similar to the ten-year averages.

While the yield for oilseed rape is predicted to decrease by 6%, the production is to reach its highest value in 20 years.

A predicted increase of around 13% in growing area may result in production values “well above” the ten-year average, the government said.

The predicted yield for wheat is also below last year’s figure, but is higher than the ten-year average.

“However, industry experts reported farmers are noticing varying quality in the spring barley harvest due to the poor weather conditions,” the Scottish government said.

Harvest figures

Harvest estimates are based on first soundings of the 2023 harvest at the end of September.

The final results will be released in December after the harvest has finished in Scotland.

Estimates are based on harvest yields given by a panel of experts at a Crop Report Meeting and provisional land use areas from the June Agricultural Census.

Final land use areas will be published in the Results of the June Agricultural Census.