METRICATION:  100% complete
Metric Non-metric
Land area in hectares
Sowing rates and crop yields in kilograms per hectare
Crop spraying in litres per hectare
Livestock weights in kilograms
Feedstuffs in kilograms
Milk production and wholesale in litres

Metrication programme

The Metrication Board co-ordinated a programme for metrication in agriculture, horticulture, and associated industries. The programme, which was centred on the farming year 1975/76, was devised in consultation with farming organisations and with industries and trades supplying farmers and horticulturists and marketing their products.

The metrication programme was approved by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Ministers responsible for agriculture in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Farming metrication booklet – 1975

Dates central to the metrication programme, were February 1976, when the Annual Farm Review was published in metric, and 4 June 1976 when returns for the Agricultural Census were completed in metric for the first time.

Measurement units

The following table summarises common measurement units used on a typical farm before and after metrication:

Quantity Old unit Metric unit
Land area acre hectare
Petrol and diesel oil gallon litre
Sowing rates for seeds hundredweight/acre kg/ha
Drill spacing for sowing inches cm
Crop spraying gallons per acre L/ha
Crop yields ton per acre, cwt per acre tonne per hectare
Farm Supplies
Fertiliser bag sizes 1 cwt 50 kg
Feedingstuff bag sizes ½ cwt
1 cwt
25 kg
50 kg
Milk Production
Wholesale volume gallon litre
Feeding rates (feedingstuff per unit of milk) lb per gallon kg/L
Meat Production
Feeding standards (feed weight per live weight) lb/lb kg/kg
Weight gain lb per day kg/day
Live weights lb kg
Dead weights lb kg