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PA161/A/11 Preliminary results of the June Agricultural Census 2011

The preliminary results of the June 2011 Agricultural Census have been released by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Thursday, 25 August 2011

The statistics are compiled from a survey of all active farms augmented by administrative data. The preliminary results are based on the first 8,000 returns and, whilst they should give an indication of the main trends, are liable to be amended in the light of returns received and processed later. Final results will be published in November 2011 by which time all returns from farmers will have been processed.

The main changes between June 2010 and June 2011 are:

Cereals: There was a little change in the total area of cereals. The area of wheat continues to rise, to 11.3 thousand Ha, though spring barley is still the largest crop at 17.3 thousand Ha.

Other crops: There was no change in the area of potatoes, while the area of arable silage decreased by 7% and the area of forage maize decreased by 2%.

Cattle: Total cattle numbers were 1% lower than in 2010. The number of dairy cows, however, increased by 1% and the number of beef cows rose by 4%.

Sheep: There was a 2% increase in the number of breeding ewes.

Pigs: There was a 3% decrease in the breeding sow herd compared with June 2010. Total fattening pigs, however, increased by 6%.

Poultry: Numbers of laying hens were 5% higher than in 2010 while the number of broilers was 5% lower.

Farmers and workers: There was a 2% fall in the number of farmers since 2010, and the total number of persons working on farms fell by 1%.

Tables giving more details of the June Agricultural Census preliminary results are available here.

Notes to editors:

1. The survey results were prepared in Farm Surveys Branch, Policy and Economics Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3SB.

2. The survey results were prepared in Farm Surveys Branch, Policy and Economics Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

3. In an effort to reduce the compliance burden on farmers, the survey form sent to farmers omitted most of the cattle and all of the poultry questions. Survey information was then augmented with data from APHIS for missing cattle variables, and from the Update of the Northern Ireland Bird Register for poultry.

4. Full details of the coverage of the census and of terms used were given in the booklet “The Agricultural Census in Northern Ireland: Results for June 2010” (DARD, 2010) and will be repeated in the 2011 issue of this annual publication, available in January 2012. These booklets may be accessed on the Department’s internet site, free of charge.

5. Released according to the Statement of Compliance with the Pre-release access to Official Statistics Order (NI) 2009 available here.  

6. These preliminary results were compiled from a sample of approximately 8,000 statistical returns, augmented with data from the APHIS cattle tracing system, and the Update of the NI Bird Register returns.

7. All recent DARD statistical press releases can be found here

8. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

Crown Copyright 2011 A National Statistics publication

National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. You can also find National Statistics on the Internet – go to www.statistics.gov.uk.