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Farmers praised for bumper UK harvest

Defra have claimed gains in precision farming have pushed the UK to one of its largest harvest in the past 20 years


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UK farmers have been praised following one of the country’s biggest harvests of the past 20 years.

 

With precision farming methods growing substantially in the past two decades, figures released today showed the UK wheat harvest has exceeded 16 million tonnes in the past two years. This is the first time the harvest has exceeded this figure consecutively.

 

Defra claimed gains in precision farming had helped farmers increase production and improve crop quality.

 

Environment secretary Liz Truss said: “We have some of the world’s best farmers.

 

"It is fantastic to see their hard work and expertise rewarded with a bumper harvest of crops that will be heading to our flour mills and distillers to produce some of our favourite foods, from bread and beer to breakfast cereals.

 

“From using GPS to increase planting precision, to introducing new water-efficient crop varieties, our innovative farmers are embracing technology to unleash their full potential."

 

UK cereal export volumes rose 74.5 per cent between 2013 and 2014, with food and drink exports doubling.

 

Figures show Eastern England grew the largest tonnage of wheat this year, 4.17 million tonnes.

 

Yorkshire and Humber grew the largest amount of winter barley, while the East Midlands grew the largest amount of oilseed rape.

 


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This year's harvest in numbers

  • The UK barley harvest reached almost 7.3 million tonnes, the largest crop since 1997
  • For the first time ever wheat grown in the UK has exceeded 16 million tonnes two years running (2014 and 2015).
  • UK farmers grew nearly 3 per cent more wheat on their land compared to 2014
  • The total UK’s cereal harvest this year is 24.5 million tonnes
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