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4618.0 - Water Use on Australian Farms, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2012   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication contains estimates on water use on Australian farms collected in the 2010-11 Agricultural Census.

2 Data at sub-state geographies such as Natural Resource Management (NRM) region, Statistical Division (SD), Statistical Local Area (SLA), Statistical Area 4 (SA4), Statistical Area 2 (SA2) and Murray Darling Basin (MDB) will be released as separate datacubes attached to this publication.


GENERAL

3 The Agricultural Census is conducted once every five years, with the Agriculture and Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the Agricultural Survey (AS) conducted in alternate years between the Censuses. The main objective of the Agricultural Census is to provide benchmark information on the agriculture sector for small geographic areas. The 2010-11 Agricultural Census provides estimates for a range of agricultural commodity items, including broadacre cropping, horticultural production, livestock and water use.

4 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


SCOPE AND COVERAGE

5 The scope of the 2010-11 Agricultural Census included all businesses undertaking agricultural activity recorded on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) above a minimum size cut-off of $5,000.

6 The measure of size was based on the ABS' Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) or a derived value based on Business Activity Statement (BAS) turnover if EVAO was not available.

7 While the ABSBR does not include all agricultural businesses in Australia, it provides improved coverage from the former ABS maintained Agricultural Survey frame, as most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the ABR for their business operations. The ABR-based register is also more up-to-date as it excludes agricultural businesses with cancelled ABNs and incorporates regularly updated information on agricultural businesses from the ABR and ATO.

8 For the 2010-11 Agricultural Census, a response rate of 88% was achieved from an in-scope population of approximately 165,000 agricultural businesses. This was the first agricultural collection to use an e-form, and the e-form achieved a take up rate of 11%.


AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES AND AREA UNDER PASTURE OR CROP

9 The number of agricultural businesses and the area under pasture or crop are included for irrigation crop categories where these are available. In some cases, the number of agricultural businesses and the area under pasture or crop are not available, or may not be directly comparable with the categories used for irrigated crops or with the count and/or area of crops irrigated. These differences may be more apparent at the lower geographic levels. More information is available upon request.

10 In this publication 'Pasture for grazing' refers to all pastures, whereas previous releases have included only improved pastures. As such, 'Pastures for grazing' data for 2010-11 may not be directly comparable to previous years.

11 The number of businesses in this publication refers to the total number of businesses that operated during the 2010-11 year. More info is available upon request.


MURRAY-DARLING BASIN GEOGRAPHY

12 The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) data used in Water Use on Australian Farms, for 2010-11 and 2005-06 (cat. no. 4618.0) were derived from geocoded data. However, data for the MDB region in other survey years were derived from a concordance of NRM regions falling mostly within the MDB region. Therefore, there may be small differences when comparing these data to 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 MDB data.


RELIABILITY OF ESTIMATES (SAMPLE ERROR)

13 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from the agricultural businesses that responded to the Agricultural Census. However, since not all of the businesses that were selected provided data, the estimates are subject to sampling variability; that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if all businesses had provided data. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE) which indicates the extent to which an estimate might vary by chance because only a sample was taken. There are about two chances in three that a 'sample' estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses had responded, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs.

14 In this publication, 'sampling' variability of the estimates is measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers.

15 Most published national estimates have RSEs less than 5%. For some states with limited production of certain commodities, RSEs are greater than 10%. Estimates that have an estimated RSE between 10% and less than 25% are annotated with the symbol '^'. These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use. Separate indication of the RSEs of all estimates is available on request.


16 A table with RSEs for selected commodities follows:

RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS OF SELECTED ESTIMATES, by State and Territories - 2010-11

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Total area irrigated (ha)
0.8
1.0
1.0
0.8
1.6
1.1
3.4
2.6
0.4
Total volume applied (ML)
0.9
1.2
1.3
0.9
1.6
1.7
2.8
3.1
0.5
Pasture for grazing, area irrigated (ha)
1.9
0.9
2.5
2.0
3.4
1.5
15.7
-
0.7
Pasture for grazing, volume applied (ML)
2.2
1.1
2.7
2.2
2.7
2.0
17.6
-
0.7
Rice, area irrigated (ha)
1.5
10.7
6.5
-
27.9
-
-
-
1.4
Rice, volume applied (ML)
1.6
12.3
6.2
-
29.5
-
-
-
1.6
Sugar cane, area irrigated (ha)
13.9
-
1.3
-
27.0
-
-
-
1.3
Sugar cane, volume applied (ML)
14.0
-
2.2
-
32.4
-
-
-
2.2
Cotton, area irrigated (ha)
1.5
-
2.2
-
35.9
-
-
-
1.4
Cotton, volume applied (ML)
1.5
-
2.4
-
31.1
-
-
-
1.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

17 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

18 The summary of the Australian Climate Conditions in 2010-11 is compiled for the ABS by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

19 A range of publications relevant to the Agriculture sector are produced by the ABS, including:


20 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed under the Statistics and Themes pages on the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.


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