4618.0 - Water Use on Australian Farms, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2018   
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QUALITY DECLARATION — SUMMARY

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

RELEVANCE
Final estimates from the 2016–17 Rural Agricultural and Commodities Survey (REACS) will be presented in five publications:

Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0) contains detailed statistics on land use, crop and horticultural area and production, livestock numbers and farm management and demographic information. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions.

Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0) contains detailed statistics on agricultural water use and sources of water, including details of pastures and crops irrigated, expense of irrigation and volume of water applied. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including ASGS SA4, NRM regions and the Murray-Darling Basin region.

Land Management and Farming in Australia (cat. no. 4627.0) provides information on a variety of management practices being adopted by Australian agricultural businesses including cropping and pasture management, soil management and fertiliser use. Data are presented at the Australian, state and territory and sub-state level, including ASGS SA4 and NRM regions.

Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (cat. no. 7503.0) presents value of production statistics. It contains detailed statistics on the gross and local values of crops, livestock slaughters and disposals, and livestock products .This publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including ASGS SA4 and NRM regions.

Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) presents the gross value of agricultural commodities that are produced with the assistance of irrigation. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory basis, NRM region and Murray-Darling Basin region.

TIMELINESS
Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0), Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (cat. no. 7503.0) and Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0) will be published in May 2018. Land Management and Farming in Australia (cat. no. 4627.0) will be released in June 2018 and Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) will be published in late 2018.

Preliminary data presenting principal crops and livestock numbers and gross values of production for principal agricultural commodities for the 2016–17 reference period were released in the publications Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 7111.0) and Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 7501.0) respectively, in January 2018.

ACCURACY
Data from the 2016-17 REACS are based on a response rate of 82.4% and have been extensively quality assured. The resultant estimates have been checked against earlier years' estimates and relevant other sources, to ensure the accuracy of estimates produced.

All estimates in this publication are subject to sampling error. For more information about these errors, refer to the Explanatory Notes within this release.

COHERENCE
The 2016-17 REACS was conducted using a frame based on the Australian Business Register (ABR). This is the same as the frame used for the 2015-16 Agricultural Census and for annual agricultural surveys and agricultural conducted since 2005-06.

For the purposes of this collection a business (statistical unit) is identified as undertaking agricultural activity if any of the primary or secondary productive activities of that business fall with the Agriculture Subdivision (Subdivision 01) as defined by the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). For more information, please refer to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

The scope of the 2016-17 REACS was all agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. This is a change from previous ABS REACS collections, where a scope of EVAO of $5,000 or greater was used, and is a continuation of the scope used in the 2015-16 Agricultural Census. The scope better aligns this collection with contemporary definitions of an agricultural business and reduces the overall reporting load for smaller agricultural businesses. It is proposed that only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater will be in scope for ABS rural environmental and agricultural commodity collections in the future. For more information about EVAO, refer to the Explanatory Notes within this release.

As a result of the change in scope, the estimates from the 2016-17 REACS will not be directly comparable to previous published REACS outputs. To address this, additional estimates have been produced from a number of rural environment and agricultural commodity collections from 2010-11 to 2014-15 using an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. These estimates are now available at the national, state/territory levels and sub-state levels on the ABS website.


INTERPRETABILITY
The REACS and the Agricultural Census provide a broad range of data about Australian agricultural commodities through a suite of standard products or as data customised for individual requirements. Time series data are available for some estimates that were collected through previous surveys/censuses. Detailed explanatory notes are provided with each publication to assist users in determining and specifying their data requirements and to understand the concepts underlying the data.

ACCESSIBILITY
An extensive range of data is available from a variety of agriculture-based collections on the ABS website.

If the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, the ABS Consultancy Services can assist with customised services to suit your requirements. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.