Note: 20 July 2007
The following revisions have been made to the datacubes following a number of queries from users:
1. Cucumbers are in kilograms not tonnes.
2. Establishment count has been defined with a footnote.
3. Cell annotations have been updated to include na = not applicable, where a commodity wasn't collected on the relevant survey form.
4. Null cells that represent the first year in a break in series (i.e. change in instrument or methodology) have been footnoted.
5. Cell numbers have been rounded to reflect the format in publications.
Eight additional publications showing Sample Questionnaires for each State have also been published.
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication contains preliminary estimates of principal agricultural commodities and livestock numbers for the 2005-06 season. The data are based on a response rate of 91% from the 2005-06 Agricultural Census.
The ABS plans to release a dataset containing preliminary horticulture data in June 2007 and second (or near final) commodity estimates at state and Australian level in July 2007 in Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 7112.0). Final estimates for the 2005-06 season will be published in November 2007 in Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0). Estimates of agricultural water use will be published in August 2007 in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0). The ABS also plans to release a range of sub-state geographic level data in early 2008. The sub-state outputs will generally be available as spreadsheets, data suitable for use in Geographic Information Systems, and possibly as maps. Standard outputs will be produced to approximate as closely as possible various regional structures such as river basins and Natural Resource Management regions.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
Move to a new register of agricultural businesses
Until recently, the ABS had maintained its own register of agricultural establishments. However, it had become increasingly difficult to maintain this list, and users were questioning the accuracy of some of the commodity data published. The ABS investigated a number of alternatives for maintaining the register and discussed these with key users of agriculture statistics. It was agreed that the ABS should move to a new frame sourced from the Australian Taxation Office's Australian Business Register (ABR).
The ABR-based frame has been used for the first time to conduct the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. The key implication of this strategy is that census data will not be directly comparable with historical time series. This is because, in addition to the change in frame, there have been changes in methodologies used for determining whether agricultural businesses are 'in-scope' of the collection and in some of the ways the data are compiled. (For more information, please see the technical note on page 11.)
To provide users with a way of comparing the 2005-06 Agricultural Census data with the historical time series, the ABS has prepared two sets of 2005-06 estimates. 'New-basis' estimates have been prepared using the new ABR-based register and its associated statistical methodologies. These methodologies have been subjected to rigorous analysis and testing, with the resulting 'new basis' estimates representing the start of the new commodity and livestock series. 'Old-basis' estimates have been prepared to provide a best judgement approximation to what the various estimates may have been if the ABS had continued to use the previous ABS-maintained list of establishments (with its associated statistical methodologies) to conduct the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. Due to the complexities involved in collecting, processing and estimating 'old basis' data from a 'new-basis' framework, the 'old-basis' 2005-06 estimates and the movements between 2004-05 and 2005-06 should be considered indicative only.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Nigel Gibson on Hobart (03) 6222 5940.