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4624.0 - Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, Preliminary, 2004-05  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2006  First Issue
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents preliminary results from the ABS Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 which was conducted in November 2005. This is the first of an ongoing biennial collection of natural resource management data.



SCOPE AND COVERAGE

2 The scope of the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 was establishments undertaking agricultural activity with an Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more.


3 A sample of approximately 20,000 establishments was included in the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05, which was a sub-sample of the 30,500 establishments included in the 2004-05 Agricultural Survey.


4 The sample was designed to ensure acceptable estimates at the National, State and Statistical Division level. The survey results in this publication have been weighted to cover the full reference population.



STATISTICAL UNIT

5 The unit for which statistics were reported in the survey was the establishment unit. For the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05, the concept of an establishment unit is the same as that used in the Agricultural Census and the Agricultural Survey. An agricultural establishment is the smallest accounting unit within a State or Territory controlling its productive activities and maintaining a specified range of detailed data enabling value-added to be calculated. In general, an establishment covers all operations at a physical location, but may consist of a group of locations provided they are within the same Statistical Local Area (SLA) or contiguous SLAs. The majority of agricultural establishments operate at one location only.



INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION

6 Establishments in the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 have been classified according to the agricultural subdivision of the 1993 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (cat. no. 1292.0) as follows:

      01 Agriculture (Division A)
      011 Horticulture and Fruit Growing
      012 Grain, Sheep and Beef Cattle Farming
      013 Dairy Cattle Farming
      014 Poultry Farming
      015 Other Livestock Farming
      016 Other Crop Growing


REFERENCE PERIOD

7 Estimates in this publication relate to agricultural establishments within the survey scope (see paragraph 2), which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 2005.



GEOGRAPHY

8 In a response to the demand for more tailored, regional-based output, estimates from the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 have been produced at the Australian, State and Natural Heritage Trust (NHT2) level. The fifty-seven physical NHT2 regions across Australia were identified for the purposes of addressing natural resource management and sustainable agriculture priorities. Appendix 2 contains a map outlining the specific NHT2 regions used in this publication. The NHT2 regions are output as per the boundary specifications of August 2005. A description of these regions can be found at the following NHT2 website <http://nht.gov.au/>.


9 Natural Resource Management estimates have not been produced for three of the 57 NHT2 regions - the jointly managed Cape York - Northern Gulf (Qld) region, Torres Strait (Qld) and Alinytjara Wilurara (SA). The Agricultural frame used to select establishments for inclusion in the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 did not include any establishments in the Cape York - Northern Gulf or Torres Strait regions. While the frame did include a small number of establishments in the Alinytjara Wilurara region, none were selected in the final sample. Accordingly, data at the relevant state and Australian levels exclude activity in these three NHT2 regions.


10 The number of agricultural establishments in the Sydney Metro region is currently over-reported with the majority belonging in the adjacent Hawkesbury/Nepean region. This coding issue will be addressed prior to the release of final estimates in September.



COMPARABILITY WITH AGRICULTURAL SURVEY

11 The Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 and the Agricultural Survey 2004-05 both produce estimates relating to the number of agricultural establishments. In some cases, the estimates in the Natural Resource Management Survey differ from those produced in the Agricultural Survey. The two collections have included different units in their samples and so differences have arisen in the common estimates due to sampling error. For further information, please contact the Director, Environment and Energy Business Statistics Centre, on (03) 6222 5804.



RELIABILITY OF DATA

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



SAMPLING ERROR

13 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample drawn from the total farm 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 farms 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.


14 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.


15 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.


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

Relative Standard Errors of Selected Estimates, By State - 2004-05

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

Agricultural establishments (no.)
0.9
1.1
1.2
1.1
1.4
2.1
4.6
4.6
0.5
Agricultural establishments reporting any NRM issue (no.)
1.3
1.5
1.5
1.6
1.8
3.0
6.0
5.2
0.7
Agricultural establishments reporting activities to manage native vegetation (no.)
2.8
3.2
3.3
3.7
3.8
6.6
16.3
11.9
1.5
Agricultural establishments reporting weed-related issues (no.)
1.5
1.9
2.0
2.0
2.5
3.7
10.4
7.3
0.9
Agricultural establishments reporting activities to manage land and soil issues (no.)
2.0
2.4
2.6
2.5
2.5
4.4
18.0
8.3
1.1
Agricultural establishments reporting water-related issues (no.)
2.7
3.5
3.2
4.5
3.4
8.1
23.2
11.8
1.5



NON-SAMPLING ERRORS

17 Error other than that 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 reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, operating procedures and systems used to compile the statistics.


18 At the time of production of preliminary estimates for the Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05, a live response rate of 75.6% had been achieved.



DATA QUALITY

19 The Natural Resource Management Survey 2004-05 was perception-based, asking agricultural establishments to identify the extent and type of NRM issues present on their land and the activities they undertook to prevent or manage these issues. While the results may differ from scientific or satellite assessment, they do provide an important perspective into the NRM issues and activities occurring on Australian farms during 2004-05. It is also acknowledged that the existence of NRM activity is not necessarily an indicator of NRM issues being addressed nor of the intensity of the activity being undertaken.


20 This publication includes preliminary estimates relating to the number of agricultural establishments with native vegetation on their holding. The collection of this and similar data relies on the perceptions and attitudes of the person completing the form. There is evidence to suggest farmers' interpretation of the definition of native vegetation may vary across states and NHT2 regions. Some farmers did not acknowledge native grassland, scrub, remnant or regrowth vegetation as the existence of native vegetation on their holding. In some instances this may have resulted in the number of agricultural establishments with native vegetation being underestimated.



RELATED PUBLICATIONS

21 A range of NRM and agricultural publications are produced by the ABS including:

  • Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0)
  • Salinity on Australian Farms 2002 (cat. no. 4615.0)
  • Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0)
  • Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0)
  • Land Management: Eurobodalla Shire NSW 2003-2004 (cat. no. 4651.0)
  • Land Management: Fitzroy and Livingstone Shires Queensland 2004-2005 (cat. no. 4651.0)

22 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

23 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 either the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Erica McCoull on (03) 6222 5977.



ACKNOWLEDGMENT

24 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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