Ireland participated in all WCA rounds. Agricultural censuses were conducted annually between 1847 and 1953, and every five years from 1960 to 1980. The 1985 Census of Agriculture (CA) was cancelled on budgetary grounds and the next censuses were undertaken in 1991 and 2000. This metadata review refers to the last CA, carried out in 2010.
The Farm Structure Survey (FSS) collects data on the structure of agricultural holdings and is carried out by the Agriculture Division of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Ireland. The FSS held in 2010 was a full Census of Agriculture and took place in June 2010. In Ireland, the first Census of Agriculture was conducted in 1847 and annually thereafter until 1953. Censuses of Agriculture were then conducted every five years between 1960 and 1980, and every ten years or so after that. A Farm Structure Survey (FSS) is carried out on a smaller sample approximately every three years to measure changes in farm structure between Censuses.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The census scope covered agricultural activities (crop and livestock production).
Agriculture & Rural Development
Land (policy, resource management)
The statistical unit is the agricultural holding, defined as a single unit, both technically and economically, which has a single management and which undertakes the following agricultural activities within the economic territory of the EU (either as its primary or secondary activity): (i) growing of non-perennial crops; (ii) growing of perennial crops; (iii) plant propagation; (iv) animal production; (v) mixed farming; or (vi) support activities to agriculture and post-harvest crop activities.
Producers and sponsors
Central Statistics Office (CSO)
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
The Farm Register (FR) held by the CSO was used as a census frame. The FR contains all farms, including all identified specialized, farms and is updated from registers maintained by the DAFM.
b. Complete and/or sample enumeration method(s)
The CA was based on a complete enumeration. The SAPM was a sample survey.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Mail Questionnaire [mail]
Data Collection Notes
The CA was conducted entirely by post (mail-out/mail-back). Each census questionnaire issued included a pre-addressed freepost reply envelope. The CA 2010 was the first census to use a combination of administrative records and completed paper questionnaires. Information on cattle numbers and the area under cereals and certain crops were obtained from administrative records.
An eight-page A4-sized questionnaire was issued to all holdings in the week prior to 1 June 2010, accompanied by an information booklet with detailed notes on each section of the questionnaire. A separate two-page A4-sized questionnaire was also issued to all specialist pig producers ("Pig questionnaire"). The SAPM was issued in late September 2010. This took the form of a four-page A4 questionnaire, also accompanied by an information leaflet.
1. Land Parcels & Use of Commonage
2. Utilisation of Land on 1 June 2010
3. Analysis of Area Farmed
4. Selected Crops and Horticulture on 1 June 2010
5. Other Horticultural Items
6. Organic Farming
7. Energy Crops
8. Renewable Energy Production
9. Livestock and Poultry Held on 1 June 2010
10. Holder, Spouse and Farm Workforce Details
11. Casual Workers, Agricultural Contractors and Farm Relief Services
12. Management and Training
13. Rural Development Measures
14. Measuring Response Burden
1. DATA PROCESSING AND ARCHIVING
OCR scanning captured the respondent's reply to every question on the form. Where the OCR software could not clearly identify a character, the questionnaire was `held' for review by a member of staff. Once this verification process was completed, the data on the questionnaire were written to a flat file for importing into the CSO's database. Data entry, verification and editing were carried out by the census processing staff in the CSO (temporary staff and more experienced supervisory staff). SAS Enterprise Guide was used to perform the sample selection for the SAPM, which was a stratified random sampling using the Neymann allocation.
2. CENSUS DATA QUALITY
Necessary steps were taken to ensure full coverage of the census population. Wherever possible, census data were also compared with other sources, including administrative registers
Preliminary results from the CA 2010 were published in February 2012. A special report on agricultural labour input was published in October 2012. A final detailed publication of the CA results was released in December 2012.The census results are available on the CSO website
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses