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7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2005-06  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/05/2007   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication, Principal Agricultural Commodities, 2005-06 (cat. no. 7111.0), presents preliminary estimates of principal agricultural commodities and livestock numbers for the 2005-06 season. The preliminary estimates are based on a response rate of 91% from the 2005-06 Agricultural Census.


2 The main objective of the Agricultural Census is to provide benchmark information on the agriculture sector for small geographic areas. The collection has five main roles:

  • to provide core production data to derive gross operating surplus and gross income for the farm sector;
  • to support the determination and monitoring of agriculture policy;
  • to support the determination and monitoring of natural resource and water policy as it relates to agriculture;
  • to support decision makers involved in producing, supplying, marketing and trading agricultural commodities; and
  • to support the monitoring of economic and social issues affecting rural communities.


STATISTICAL UNITS USED

3 The ABS uses 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 a suitable level.


4 The units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations:
a) The majority of businesses are simple in structure and are allocated to the business population that is maintained by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). These are termed (by the ABS) Australian Business Number (ABN) units.
b) Businesses with more complex business structures are allocated to the business population maintained by the ABS. For agricultural businesses, these are primarily units which have multiple farm locations.


5 Together these two sub-populations comprise the ABSBR population from which respondents to the 2005-06 Agricultural Census were drawn.



SCOPE AND COVERAGE

6 The scope of the 2005-06 Agricultural Census was essentially all agricultural businesses above a minimum size cut-off recorded on the Australian Business Register (ABR) maintained by the ATO.


7 For the 2005-06 Agricultural Census, the measure of size 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 cutoff of $5,000, based on either EVAO or BAS Turnover, was used to determine whether a unit was in-scope for the Census.


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


9 Preliminary estimates indicate a total in-scope population of 155,000 agricultural businesses compared to approximately 130,000 establishments on the previous ABS-maintained frame of agricultural establishments.



GEOGRAPHIC OUTPUT

10 As with past Censuses, small area data at Statistical Local Area (SLA) level will be produced from the 2005-06 Agricultural Census.


11 In response to increased interest in other geographic areas, the ABS has asked agricultural businesses in the 2005-06 Agricultural Census to provide location address details for their main agricultural property. This address will be used to code each farm to a 'mesh block' from which a range of small area data can be derived. It is intended that mesh blocks will become the basic building block of all statistical, political and administrative geography in Australia. Further information on mesh blocks can be found in Information Paper Mesh Blocks, Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 1209.0).


12 Release of a range of small area outputs is proposed for early 2008. These outputs will generally be available as spreadsheets, data suitable for use in Geographic Information Systems, and possibly as maps.



DAIRY CATTLE

13 Investigations into the 2006 Agricultural Census estimates have revealed that the frame used for the 2005 Agricultural Survey did not accurately reflect the reduction in dairy establishments due to deregulation. Hence, the 2005 figure is considered to be over-estimated, with analysis indicating that the 2005 total milk cattle estimate to be around 2.9 million, not 3.1 million as previously reported.



GENERAL

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



RELIABILITY OF ESTIMATES (SAMPLE ERROR)

15 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from respondents to the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. Since not all selected units responded, the estimates may differ from those that would have been produced if all farms had responded. 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 when not all units have responded, i.e. when a 'sample' of responses only is obtained. 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 farms had responded, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs.


16 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.


17 Most published 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 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 error 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.


18 A table with RSEs for the principal commodities in this publication follows:

Relative standard error of principal commodities, New basis estimates - 2005-2006

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

Barley for grain, production
0.9
0.6
3.0
0.6
1.0
4.3
na
20.2
0.4
Canola, production
1.5
1.1
27.4
1.4
1.7
10.6
na
41.2
0.9
Cotton lint, production
2.5
na
2.5
na
-
na
na
na
1.8
Grain sorghum, production
1.9
15.9
1.9
-
20.0
na
32.9
41.2
1.3
Lupins for grain, production
2.8
2.5
23.5
1.8
1.6
16.7
na
na
1.3
Oats for grain, production
0.9
0.9
6.4
1.7
1.6
4.0
na
24.0
0.7
Rice for grain, production
1.6
5.0
na
na
na
na
na
na
1.5
Sugar cane cut for crushing, production
1.6
na
0.9
na
5.9
na
na
na
0.9
Wheat for grain, production
0.8
0.6
2.7
0.6
0.6
3.4
na
15.9
0.4
Total milk cattle
1.2
0.3
1.6
1.8
3.0
1.5
na
na
0.4
Total meat cattle
0.5
0.3
1.0
1.1
1.6
1.0
2.6
3.2
0.5
Total sheep and lambs
0.4
0.4
1.8
0.6
0.6
1.2
35.1
2.1
0.3
Total pigs
1.6
2.5
2.8
3.1
3.3
3.2
0.5
na
1.2

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available



ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

19 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 Sean Geltner on (03) 6222 5939.



GENERAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT

20 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.



RELATED PUBLICATIONS

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

      Selected Agricultural Commodities, cat. no. 7112.0.55.001
      Agricultural Commodities, Australia, cat. no. 7121.0
      Livestock and Meat, Australia, cat. no. 7218.0.55.001
      Livestock Products, Australia, cat. no. 7215.0
      Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, cat. no. 4620.0
      Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary, cat. no. 7501.0
      Value of Selected Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, cat. no. 7502.0
      Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, cat. no. 7503.0
      Water Use on Australian Farms, Australia, cat. no. 4618.0

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.

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