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Preliminary results of Agricultural Census June 2009

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The preliminary results of the June 2009 Agricultural Census have been released by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

These are compiled from a sample 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 2009 by which time all returns from farmers will have been processed.

The main changes between June 2008 and June 2009 are:

Cereals: There was a 7% decrease in the total area of cereals. The areas of oats and wheat and winter barley decreased by 10%, 28% and 15% respectively. The area of spring barley rose by 9%.

Other crops: The area of potatoes rose by 5% while that of arable silage decreased by 11%.

Cattle: Total cattle numbers were 1% lower than in 2008. The number of dairy cows decreased by 2% while the number of beef cows fell by 3%.

Sheep: There was a 4% decrease in the number of breeding ewes.

Pigs: There was a 12% increase in the breeding sow herd compared with June 2008.

Poultry: Numbers of laying hens were 4% higher and the number of broilers 6% higher than in 2008.

Farmers and workers: There was a 2% fall in the number of farmers in 2009, and the total number of persons working on farms also fell by 1%.

Tables giving more details of the June Agricultural Census preliminary results are available at http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/news/press-releases-statistical/press-release-statistical-current.htm.

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. Crown Copyright 2009. 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 at  http://www.statistics.gov.uk.

3. All recent DARD statistical press releases can be found at http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/news/press-releases-statistical.

4. All media queries to DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.