The area of non-leguminous field vegetables in salad being grown in the UK fell nearly 10 per cent between 1 June 2015 and the same date this year, according to Defra's latest Farming Statistics bulletin, published today (13 October).
The area of field veg went down from 83,000 to 75,000 hectares, while that of peas and beans dropped from 40,000 to 36,000ha. However the 2015 area was around 6 per cent higher than that for 2014.
The area of orchards dropped 3.2 per cent to 25,100ha. But edibles grown under glass rose 3.3 per cent in area to 1,993ha. The glasshouse area recorded as not in production fell by 22 per cent to 139ha.
The total utilised agricultural area of the UK has remained broadly stable since 2010, at just over 17.2m ha.
UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.
One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.