Winter wheat yields forecast to be down 12% in 2020

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Written by Rachel Martin

An artificial intelligence system has used satellite data to forecast a reduction in UK winter-sown crops.

As a result, it’s expected that wheat, barley and oat yields could decrease by 12%, 5% and 5% respectively, compared to 2019.

Last Autumn parts of the UK saw twice the average seasonal rainfall. This was followed by some of the worst winter floods in memory.

Anecdotal evidence suggests drilling was delayed on many farms, especially in the north and Midlands resulting in a 61% reduction in winter crops.

Agri-tech firm Agrimetrics has developed artificial intelligence capable of identifying crops using only satellite observations.

This can be done as early in the year as April; however, accuracy increases as the season progresses and crops become more easily distinguishable.

Agrimetrics used their AI to calculate the proportion of winter crops currently growing in a sample of UK fields. They then compared this to levels from 2017 to 2019.

“We’ve discovered that there is 61% less winter wheat growing in the UK vs. last year,” said Prof. Richard Tiffin, Agrimetrics’ chief scientific officer. “And there was 45% less winter barley.”

Average differences in yields between winter and spring-sown crops were then used to estimate a difference in yield.

“A rough estimation would suggest that 2020’s wheat harvest will be 12% lower than in 2019,” added Prof. Tiffin. “Barley is likely to be down 5%.”

The firm was keen to emphasise that its calculation is based on a sample of fields and warned that AI is not 100% accurate, especially this early in the season.

However, a spokesman said he was “confident” that the trend observed is correct and that the AI is the most accurate currently available.

“These numbers are significant enough to impact the UK’s domestic food supply,” said Prof. Tiffin.

“80% of the grain used by UK millers comes from UK farms – and 95% of that is winter wheat. Millers are going to have to look to overseas suppliers, which isn’t ideal in the current climate.”

The post Winter wheat yields forecast to be down 12% in 2020 appeared first on Agriland.co.uk.

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silverfox

Member
Location
Shropshire
As I said in the wheat yield thread, this post is a joke and the publication posting it has shown just how little they know about what’s really happening on farm. Lazy journalism .
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
As I said in the wheat yield thread, this post is a joke and the publication posting it has shown just how little they know about what’s really happening on farm. Lazy journalism .
it’s interesting that this number has come from AI satellite maps

clearly the number is miles out so does this put a big question mark over such data and how useful really is ?

lots of cash being committed to the future of such data ........ ?... if you want to know the state of crops why not just ask farmers ! No one know the answer better than us on the ground imo
 
Hi All - speaking as an Agrimetrics person - Agrimetrics did the above research and the number was derived from analysing satellite data to detect what crops where being grown where in the UK. Of course, it's a big picture average so says nothing about specific field and crop performance, many will perform better, many perform worse, but averaged out we estimated those impact figures. You're absolutely right @Clive that establishing a trustworthy, cheap, easy, worthwhile and rewarding way for farmers to share that information would be really useful - keen to see if we can make that happen!
 
Thanks @thorpe, hope you're compensating somehow. I'd really like to look into those figures in more detail, has anyone surveyed growers about this - I'd expect this sort of thing gets done every year.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Thanks @thorpe, hope you're compensating somehow. I'd really like to look into those figures in more detail, has anyone surveyed growers about this - I'd expect this sort of thing gets done every year.
Every year yields are discussed in detail, before harvest there are predictions which are revised according to the weather, then as harvest progresses results come in. The thread below is the main one this year but yields are also posted in many other threads as part of conversations. Maybe AI could learn to sift through all the threads, recognise yield information and present it in a useful way e.g. predictions/results/crop type/location etc?

https://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?threads/harvest-yields-2020.322636/
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Getting a good way through harvest here, I did manage to plant all wheat, but some in Jan/feb, looking like overall average yield will be approximately 25% down on last year's record high average.
 
Every year yields are discussed in detail, before harvest there are predictions which are revised according to the weather, then as harvest progresses results come in. The thread below is the main one this year but yields are also posted in many other threads as part of conversations. Maybe AI could learn to sift through all the threads, recognise yield information and present it in a useful way e.g. predictions/results/crop type/location etc?

https://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?threads/harvest-yields-2020.322636/
Thanks @GeorgeK
 
Every year yields are discussed in detail, before harvest there are predictions which are revised according to the weather, then as harvest progresses results come in. The thread below is the main one this year but yields are also posted in many other threads as part of conversations. Maybe AI could learn to sift through all the threads, recognise yield information and present it in a useful way e.g. predictions/results/crop type/location etc?

https://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?threads/harvest-yields-2020.322636/
Thanks @GeorgeK - that's a good idea. Will be looking through the archives to see how many records could be generated and how accurate the predictions/results/crop type/location could be. Would be good to auto-generate a map showing what people are reporting. The major challenge beyond that will be figuring out in what ways the generated data are representative - but it'd be good to take a look and see what could be done.
 

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New ELM scheme must be flexible and have farming at its heart, says NFU

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Written by John Swire

The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) must be flexible and have farming at its heart, the NFU said today, as the government consultation draws to a close.

The scheme is due to be rolled out in 2024, replacing the existing environmental schemes currently available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

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NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “The consultation on the new ELMS has given us a great opportunity to get a range of views from our...
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