The amount of agricultural land in England stands at 8.8 million hectares, or 68% of all land, according to new statistics from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The agricultural land use in England release contains the estimates of crop areas, land use and land ownership on commercial agricultural holdings in England on June 1, 2023, from the June Survey of Agriculture.

The utilised agricultural area (UAA) includes all arable and horticultural crops; uncropped arable land; land used for outdoor pigs; temporary and permanent grassland; and common rough grazing.

The total croppable area accounts for over half (55%) of the total UAA in England, and saw little change between 2022 and 2023 – remaining at just under 4.9 million hectares.

Permanent grassland accounts for an additional 40% of UAA and has decreased by 2.9% to 3.5 million hectares in 2023.

The area of agricultural land owned in England decreased by 0.5% to just under 6.2 million hectares in 2023.

Land rented in for a year or more fell by 0.9% and now stands at just under 2.9 million hectares.


The total area of arable crops saw a 1.3% decrease between 2022 and 2023, falling to just under 3.7 million hectares.

Cereals account for the majority (70%) of the total arable crop area, covering just under 2.6 million hectares in 2023.

The area of wheat decreased by 5.3% to 1.58 million hectares, whilst barley increased by 2.2% to 799 thousand hectares.

The area of oilseed crops increased by 3.4% to 369,000ha in 2023. Oilseed rape accounts for 93% of this area and rose by 6.1% to 342,000ha in 2023.

Potatoes decreased by 12%, falling to 82,000ha in 2023.

The remaining arable crops covered 670,000ha. Field beans and maize together account for almost two thirds of this area. Fields beans rose by 1.2% while maize saw a larger increase of 7.5% between 2022 and 2023.

The area of horticultural crops covers 117,000ha of land, a decrease of 6.3% compared to 2022.