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Winter plantings steady, moderate increases in some livestock

The results of the December Agricultural Survey show that livestock numbers have generally increased since last year, though poultry numbers fell sharply.

Scotland's Chief Statistician has released the latest results from the December Agricultural Survey.

Cattle numbers rose marginally, by 0.4 per cent, to 1.73 million. This was driven by a four per cent increase in dairy cows, with a 1.3 per cent fall in beef cow numbers. December sheep numbers increased 1.6 per cent to 4.84 million, while pig numbers jumped ten per cent to 322,000. There was a different picture in poultry though, with 2.4 million fewer broilers leading to a 16 per cent reduction in the overall number of birds.

The area of winter-sown crops in December 2014 was similar to the previous December at 204,000 hectares, with 2,300 hectares more wheat, offset by 1,300 hectares less barley and 500 hectares less oats. Oilseed rape was relatively unchanged.

The results also show that the amount of hay and grass silage saw increases in 2014, but arable silage fell. There was a 0.6 per cent decrease in the number of tractors, along with falls in various other categories of machinery, which may reflect the increased use of contract working.

The full publication can be accessed at:


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