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Farmland Use - Grassland and fodder crops

GRASSLAND AND FODDER CROPS

Introduction

The total area on agricultural holdings at June 2016 was 5.65 million hectares, with the majority of this area being rough grazing (55 per cent). Almost a quarter (23 per cent) was grass, with 10 per cent used for crops or left fallow. The remainder consisted of woodland (nine per cent) and 'other land' (three per cent) comprised of roads, yards, buildings, scree, ponds and other such non-cultivated land.

There were 51,896 agricultural holdings, with the total area equating to 73 per cent of Scotland's total land area.

There was also a further 584,225 hectares of common grazing not included in these census results. If common grazing is included, the total area was 6.24 million hectares, which equates to 80 per cent of Scotland's total land area.

For the first time since 2008 there was an increase in the area of rough grazing, rising 135,000 hectares (4.6 per cent).

Overall, the area of grass fell (by 13,000 hectares or 1.2 per cent). In 2015, a change in how temporary grass was defined was accompanied by a shift from grass under five years old to grass five years and over. This year, the ratio of permanent grass to temporary grass has been largely maintained, with both categories falling broadly in proportion (temporary grass down 1.4 per cent and permanent grass down 0.9 per cent).

Chart : Agricultural land use trends, 2006 to 2016

Chart 2: Agricultural land use trends, 2006 to 2016

 

Crops for Stockfeeding

The total area of stockfeeding crops declined markedly between 2006 and 2008, which coincided with a greater rate of decline in cattle and sheep numbers. The area remained fairly s between 2008 and 2010 but declined in 2011 by 3,000 hectares (13 per cent), possibly due to farmers responding to higher prices in cereals and switching crops. In June 2016 the area fell by 1,400 hectares (7.8 per cent) to 16,500. Change amongst the individual stockfeeding crops was modest, with the exception of maize (where the area was almost halved to 760 hectares), rape (down 16 per cent to 2,000 hectares) and other stockfeeding crops (down five per cent to 7,100 hectares).

 

Chart: Trends in stockfeeding crops, 2006 to 2016  Source: June Agricultural Census ,Table 1

Chart 8: Trends in stockfeeding crops, 2006 to 2016

 

The links listed below provide tables of more detailed grass and fodder crop statistics. To return to this page use the BACK button on your browser.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

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