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1 Recent Initiatives in UK Agriculture Surveys Peter Helm and Julie Bartlett Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs United Kingdom.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Recent Initiatives in UK Agriculture Surveys Peter Helm and Julie Bartlett Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs United Kingdom."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Recent Initiatives in UK Agriculture Surveys Peter Helm and Julie Bartlett Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs United Kingdom

2 2 Location of Defra

3 3 September, 2004 One Planet Living Avoiding dangerous climate change Maintaining & enhancing the natural asset base High Level Goals Mission The Defra Strategy Arrow Focussing the Department

4 4 300,000 agricultural holdings in the UK 200,000 holdings in England 57,000 have no labour, 17,000 require <1 full time worker 9% of holdings account for 41% of employment 19% of holdings account for 87% of output 25% of holdings account for 85% of farm area Agriculture in the UK 2007

5 5 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions 60% of nitrates and 29% of phosphates in rivers 66% of nitrous oxide emissions, 90% of ammonia emissions and <1% of carbon dioxide emissions. Environmental impacts of agriculture

6 6 SurveySample size (England) June survey of agriculture and horticulture65,000 December survey of agriculture20,000 Farm Business Survey1,800 Labour survey65,000 Farm Practices Survey6,000 Earnings and Hours Survey of ag. workers850 January Horticulture Surveys1,600 Crops production850 & 3,500 Fertiliser Practice survey1,300 Regular surveys run by Defra

7 7 FCAG Customers

8 8 Pressure to reduce compliance costs Widespread feeling that agriculture is over surveyed in relation to its economic significance and size Increasing availability of administrative data New data requirements on agri-environmental data Competition from private sector organisations running own surveys Need to improve response rates to reduce survey sample and costs Key Drivers for survey changes

9 9 June Survey (main survey) has greatest scope for improvement. Initiatives implemented are: Increased sampling Reduction in numbers of questions asked Use of administrative data Electronic data capture Register improvements Initiatives taken to reduce survey burden

10 10 Reduced Sampling fraction

11 11 2 pages 43 questions 12,000 forms dispatched 4 pages 126 questions 47,000 forms dispatched Reduced numbers of questions Summary form Detailed form

12 12 Average number of questions asked on the survey form

13 13 Data potentially available for survey purposes Single Farm payment data (field usage data) Livestock movement records Livestock register data Use of Administrative data

14 14 Delivers surveys electronically Data sharing prospects to reduce need for duplicate requests Enables farmers to do other business Hoping to recover to at least 10% electronic usage Major savings on validation which can be done on-line Electronic data capture Whole Farm Approach

15 15 Our Farm Survey register is the most comprehensive register of farm holdings in England Closely linked to the register used by the Rural Payments Agency Improved links with the Interdepartmental Business Register used by the Office for National Statistics Improvements to farm register

16 16 Response rates

17 17 Non-response survey

18 18 Main reasons given for non-response to surveys: No longer in farming Information requested already provided to other parts of Defra Too much paperwork No benefit to the farmer Farmers claim they did not receive the survey forms Non-response survey

19 19 Other initiatives we are considering include: reviewing the collection of information at business rather than holding level developing better links with industry organisations to encourage their members to respond on our behalf setting up of a farmers panel to check questionnaires before issue better marketing of survey results highlighting value more joining up of surveys using minimum thresholds to only target larger farm businesses Other initiatives to minimise burden/improve response rates

20 20 Survey topics include: Water usage and water quality Nutrient management Cattle housing and slurry storage The use of veterinary services Economics of modern farming FPS 2007 Currently collecting customer feedback on survey products Possible future innovations include: Investigating response rates across farm sizes, farm types and regions to detect possible bias Make more use of past data for validation Improve thresholds to match the topics covered 2008 and beyond Agri environment data collection Farm Practices Survey

21 21 Fertiliser Application Rates Kg/Ha/ per year Survey has been brought back in-house to: Aid inter-survey comparisons Allow better targeting of surveys Allows better management of survey burdens Grass19962006 Nitrogen11372 Phosphate2316 Potash3021 Crops19962006 Nitrogen145147 Phosphate5235 Potash6149 Agri environment data collection British Survey of Fertiliser Practices

22 22 Detailed financial and physical data from farms Agri-environment data collected includes: Farm habitats, e.g. low input pasture, field corners, conservation headlands Costs of key countryside maintenance i.e. creating and maintaining woodland, ponds & stone walls Drivers for such expenditure Areas of hedge and woodland planting Agri environment data collection Farm Business Survey

23 23 Pressure to reduce survey burdens on farmers whilst still providing valuable information on agriculture New data needs are becoming more important and we have to adapt more traditional surveys to capture this new information Many challenges and exciting times lie ahead Conclusion

24 24 Any questions?

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