UK: NFU launches 2013 harvest survey

Harvest has started on our farm in Pebmarsh. We still use two combines that are over 50 years old

Harvest has started on our farm in Pebmarsh. We still use two combines that are over 50 years old - Credit: citizenside.com

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is calling on its members to help answer important questions about the 2013 harvest by taking part in its annual harvest survey which is launched this week.

The survey of combinable crops, available to complete online from August 15, is the first source of published data on production levels in the UK, and is published up to a month before the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) official statistics. It follows on from the UK becoming a net importer of wheat for the first time in 20 years in 2012.

Reflecting issues such as the effect of the extreme weather on cereals and oilseeds, the lower winter crop areas and increased planting of spring crops, and the effect difficult field conditions have had on the crop, the survey looks to get as full a picture as possible of the wheat crop in England by mid-September and the year’s harvest of major combinable crops to date, by early October.

NFU chief arable adviser Guy Gagen said: “Without the information provided by members it would have simply been impossible to generate an accurate estimate in the past as we rely on members’ input in order to maintain our accurate track record with harvest results.

“As with last year, the survey is online, making it easy for members’ to record the crucial information that goes into painting a picture of the 2013 harvest on a national scale.

“We need as many of our members as possible to fill the survey in, as without their input, it simply would not be possible.”

The survey will be available to fill in from August 15 at www.nfuonline.com.