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4620.0 - Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/06/2008   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results from the ABS Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07 which was conducted from September 2007. This is the second of an ongoing biennial collection of natural resource management data.


SCOPE AND COVERAGE

2 The scope of the 2006-07 Natural Resource Management Survey was essentially all agricultural businesses above a minimum size cut-off recorded on the Australian Business Register (ABR) maintained by the Australian Tax Office.

3 The measure of size used was the ABS's Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) where available, or where it was not available, a Business Activity Statement (BAS) turnover size was derived. A minimum size cut-off of $5,000, based on either EVAO or BAS Turnover, was used to determine whether a unit was in scope of the Survey.

4 While the survey frame does not contain all agricultural businesses in Australia, it is expected to provide better coverage than previous non-ABR-based Agricultural Survey frames, since most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the ATO for their business operations. The frame is also expected to be more up-to-date than previous frames, as it excludes agricultural businesses with cancelled ABNs and incorporates regularly updated information on agricultural businesses from the ATO.

5 A sample of 20,575 establishments was included in the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07; this being a sub-sample of the 30,500 establishments included in the 2006-07 Agricultural Survey.

6 The sample was designed to ensure acceptable estimates at the National, State and Natural Resource Management (NRM) region level. The survey results in this publication have been weighted to cover the full reference population.


GENERAL

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

8 Expenditure managing or preventing a particular NRM problem does not include the value of agricultural production lost due the the particular NRM problem.

9 Average expenditure and effort per 1000 hectares is provided in certain tables. It should be noted that area includes the entire area of holding of the agricultural business reporting expenditure and effort, not the area on which the activities were undertaken, as this was not collected in this survey.


STATISTICAL UNIT

10 The unit for which statistics were reported in the survey was the business unit. For the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07, the concept of a business unit is the same as that used in the Agricultural Census and the Agricultural Survey.

11 Since 2005-06, the ABS has used an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) to describe the characteristics of businesses and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is used within large and diverse business groups to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable level.

12 Respondents to the 2006-07 Natural Resource Management Survey were drawn from the ABS Business Register.


INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION

13 Establishments in the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07 have been classified according to the agricultural subdivision of the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (cat. no. 1292.0) as follows:

      01 Agriculture (Division A)
      011 Nursery and Floriculture Production
      012 Mushroom and Vegetable Growing
      013 Fruit and Tree Nut Growing
      014 Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming
      015 Other Crop Growing
      016 Dairy Cattle Farming
      017 Poultry Farming
      018 Deer Farming
      019 Other Livestock Farming


REFERENCE PERIOD

14 Estimates in this publication relate to agricultural businesses within the survey scope (see paragraph 2), which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 2007.


GEOGRAPHY

15 In a response to the demand for more tailored, regional-based output, estimates from the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07 have been produced at the Australian, State and Natural Resource Management (NRM) region level. The 57 NRM regions across Australia were identified for the purposes of addressing natural resource management and sustainable agriculture priorities. The Appendix contains a map outlining the specific NRM regions used in this publication. The NRM regions are output as per the boundary specifications of August 2005. A description of these regions can be found at the following NRM website <http://nrm.gov.au/nrm/region.html>.

16 With the exception of NRM region 314 (Torres Strait), natural resource management data have been collected for all 57 NRM regions. However, for a combination of data quality and confidentiality reasons, the estimates for three of the NRM regions have been merged with larger NRM regions. The NRM regions that have been merged are listed below:
  • NRM region 801 (ACT) has been merged with NRM region 108 (Murrumbidgee). State totals for NSW also include the ACT;
  • NRM region 401 (Alinytjara Wilurara) has been merged with NRM region 406 (SA Arid Land); and
  • NRM region 304,310 (Cape York, Northern Gulf) has been merged with NRM region 310 (Northern Gulf).


COMPARABILITY WITH AGRICULTURAL SURVEY

17 The Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07 and the Agricultural Survey 2006-07 both produce estimates relating to the number of agricultural establishments and the area of agricultural land. In order to maintain coherence between the two estimates, the Natural Resource Management Survey estimates have been aligned to the Agricultural Survey estimates at natural resource management level using a calibration algorithm which minimised the impact to the estimation weights. For further information, please contact the Director, Environment and Agriculture Surveys Business Statistics Centre, on (03) 6222 5850.


RELIABILITY OF DATA

18 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.


SAMPLING ERROR

19 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample drawn from the total agricultural business population in scope of the collection and are subject to sampling variability. That is, estimates may differ from figures that would have been produced if all agricultural businesses had been included in the survey. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included. 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 a complete enumeration had been conducted, and approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs.

20 In this publication, sampling variability 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.

21 Where the RSE of an estimate included in this publication falls in the range of 10% to less than 25%, it has been annotated with the symbol '^' indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Where the RSE of an estimate is 25% to 50%, it has been 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. Where the RSE of an estimate exceeds 50%, it has been annotated with the symbol '**', indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimate to be considered too unreliable for general use. Separate indication of the RSEs of all estimates is available on request.

22 The following table contains RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication:

RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS OF SELECTED ESTIMATES, by State - 2006-07

NSW(a)
Vic.
QLD
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Aust.

Area of holding ('000 ha)
3.9
2.1
3.2
2.3
6.7
4.4
5.1
2.0
Any NRM activity (no.)
0.9
1.2
1.3
1.2
1.6
2.4
3.7
0.5
Total NRM expenditure ($m)
2.6
3.5
3.2
3.6
4.2
6.6
4.4
1.6
Total NRM effort (person days)
2.6
3.0
3.6
4.2
4.6
5.2
7.8
1.6
Any weed related activity (no.)
1.0
1.3
1.5
2.1
1.5
3.1
4.1
0.6
Total weed cost ($m)
3.3
3.9
3.7
4.4
4.9
8.1
7.3
1.9

(a) Includes ACT.



NON-SAMPLING ERRORS

23 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur because of deficiencies in the list of units from which the sample was selected, non-response and errors in reporting by providers. Inaccuracies of this kind are referred to as non-sampling errors and may occur in any collection whether it be a census or a sample. Every effort has been made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, operating procedures and systems used to compile the statistics.

24 The data for NRM Region 112 (Sydney Metro) should be used with caution as it does not truly represent agricultural businesses in the region due to deficiencies in the frame from which the sample was selected.

25 At the time of production of final estimates for the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07, a live response rate of 87% had been achieved.


DATA QUALITY

26 Much of the Natural Resource Management Survey 2006-07 was perception-based, asking agricultural businesses to identify the extent and type of NRM related problems present on their land and the activities they undertook to prevent or manage these problems. While the results may differ from other sources of NRM monitoring and information, they provide an important perspective into the NRM problems and activities prevalent for Australian agricultural businesses during 2006-07.

27 The term 'NRM problems' refers to agricultural businesses reporting one or more NRM problem on their holding. The reporting of NRM problems does not necessarily mean any management activity has been undertaken. The NRM problems identified may have affected part or all of the holding and may have been of varying severity.

28 Final estimates in this publication were validated against a number of internal and external NRM data sources, including:
  • ABS, Agricultural Survey 2006-07
  • ABS, Agricultural Census 2005-06
  • ABS, Water Survey 2002-03
  • ABS, Land Management and Salinity Survey 2002
  • ABS, Land Management: Eurobodalla Shire NSW 2003-04
  • ABS, Land Management: Fitzroy and Livingstone Shires Queensland 2004-05
  • State of the Environment Reporting
  • DAFF, Australian Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry at a Glance 2007
  • ABARE, Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05
  • DEH, NRM regional expenditure 2004-05


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

29 A range of NRM and agricultural publications are produced by the ABS including:
  • Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0)
  • Agricultural Commodities: Small Area Data, Australia (cat. no. 7125.0)
  • Land Management: Eurobodalla Shire NSW 2003-2004 (cat. no. 4651.0)
  • Land Management: Fitzroy and Livingstone Shires Queensland 2004-2005 (cat. no. 4651.0)
  • Salinity on Australian Farms 2002 (cat. no. 4615.0)
  • Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0)
  • Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0)

30 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

31 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

32 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.


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