The majority of oats grown in Scotland are used for milling and further processing for breakfast cereals, oatcakes, porridge oats and oatmeal for secondary processing outwith Scotland. The majority of the remainder is used as specialist feed for horses.
Oat production is estimated to have increased by 33 per cent this year due to a 22 per cent increase in area grown and a nine per cent increase in yield. Production has fluctuated considerably in recent years, with a previous high of 187,000 tonnes in 2013. This year's estimate would break the 200,000 tonne mark for the first time since the fall in oat production in the 1970s. Spring oats make up around two thirds of oat production.
This year's average yield is estimated at 6.4 tonnes per hectare, the highest on record, and applied to the second highest area since 1989. The increase in yield is in line with the general increasing trend in oat yields, which has seen a six per cent increase in the average for the last ten years, compared to the previous decade.
Chart 13 - Oats: Area, Yield and Production
Chart 14 - Oats Year-on-Year Change: Area, Yield and Production