A census of agriculture (CA) is conducted in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) since 1866. The UK has participated in the ten-yearly rounds of the WCA Programme since 1930, with a selected year. A CA is carried out once every ten years, 2010 being the most recent. The metadata review and data presented here refer to the CA 2010, carried out together with the SAPM.
The latest National Statistics on United Kingdom agriculture and horticulture produced by Defra on behalf of the agriculture departments of the United Kingdom were released on 16 December 2010 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. The release shows the final estimates of the 2010 June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture carried out by each of the UK agriculture departments. It includes estimates for land use, crop areas and livestock populations. The other release shows the final estimates of land use, crop areas and livestock numbers on agricultural holdings on 1 June 2010.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the study was land use, crop areas and livestock populations on agricultural holdings.
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Land (policy, resource management)
The statistical unit was the agricultural holding, defined as "a single unit, both technically and economically, which has a single management and which produces agricultural products".
Producers and sponsors
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
a. Modality for conducting the census
The AC 2010 data were collected using the traditional (classical) approach, along with the use of administrative registers as a source of census data. In general terms, organic production data, cattle information, rural development payments and common land data are all collected from administrative systems.
The frame of the CA 2010 was the population of holdings recorded as "live" on the UK Farm Register in spring 2010, which met the minimum thresholds criteria. Holdings with temporarily reduced levels of activity (such as seasonally let out land, temporarily empty pig or poultry sheds) were also included in the census frame.The CA was an enumeration of all holdings above predefined thresholds.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Data collection varied slightly between each of the four countries in accordance with the administrative systems that could be accessed. For all other items on the main CA 2010 and all SAPM items, most data were collected with the self-interviewing (mailout/mail-back) method.9 Any records that were flagged with issues (or were partially complete) were contacted via telephone using CATI, where appropriate. In England, farmers were offered the option to complete the CA on the Internet (using CAM). Farmers who did not wish to complete an online return could request a paper form.
Ten questionnaires were used for the CA 2010 and SAPM in the UK. England had three questionnaires (SAPM 2010 form, Irrigation 2010 form, Census 2010 form). Scotland had three questionnaires (Main Census 2010 form, Special Census 2010 form, SAPM 2010 form). Wales and Northern Ireland had two questionnaires each (Census 2010 form, SAPM 2010 form). The questionnaires covered all 16 core items recommended in the WCA 2010.
1. Land area on this holding on 1 June 2010
2. Grassland and non-agricultural land on 1 June 2010 (include grazing land in this section)
3. Crops and fallow land on 1 June 2010
4. Horticulture on 1 June 2010
5. Livestock on 1 June
6. People working on the holding on 1 June 2010
7-12. Labour and diversification (July 2009 to June 2010)
13. Renewable energy production
a. DATA PROCESSING AND ARCHIVING
Most of the data were collected using printed survey forms. All of the forms were returned to a professional data capture company that either keyed or scanned the questionnaires. Once the data were captured, they were returned to the institutions and a number of validation checks were carried out. Survey support teams worked to correct issues with the data by contacting farmers and/or using additional data about the farm collected from other sources. Despite the efforts made, there was some nonresponse, such that a degree of imputation was required for the core CA 2010 items. Labour and diversification items were mainly imputed using donor imputation, whereas the land and livestock items were imputed using a ratio-raising process.
b. CENSUS DATA QUALITY
Comparisons of the CA 2010 with other data sources for the reference year were not possible. The items collected on the CA 2010 survey forms were not collected elsewhere with sufficient coverage or a sufficiently enough sample to permit comparisons. Generally, however, the data were judged to be comparable with information from earlier years and no significant issues were noted.
A number of publications are produced by each of the four UK administrations that relate to the situation in their own country. Provisional results for the UK were issued in September 2010. Final results were released in December 2010 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. Final census results for UK were published in December 2010. Detailed labour results were published in October 2011.
Farm Surveys Team,
Farming Statistics Unit,
Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Address: Foss House, Kings Pool, 1-2 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PX, England
Telephone: (+44) (0)300 600170
Disclaimer and copyrights
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