7124.0 - Historical Selected Agriculture Commodities, by State (1861 to Present), 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/03/2013   
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  • Quality Declaration - Summary



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.


Historical Selected Agriculture Commodities, by State (1861 to Present) (cat. no. 7124.0) presents historical state/territory and national agricultural production data from a variety of state statistical registries and from the ABS' annual Agricultural Survey or Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) or the Agricultural Census, which is conducted five-yearly. The publication aims to provide a broad overview of the movements of key agricultural commodities over time. The agricultural commodities include the area and production of barley, maize, oats, potatoes and wheat. The livestock breakdowns include the number of meat and milk cattle, sheep, pigs and wool.


Historical Selected Agriculture Commodities, by State (1861 to Present) (cat. no. 7124.0) is an ad hoc publication, published sometime after Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0), which currently presents state/territory and national data from the relevant year's Agricultural Survey or ARMS and related supplementary collections, or the five-yearly Agricultural Census.


The latest series of data added to this publication are estimates obtained from the 2010-11 Agricultural Census. These data are based on a response rate of 88% and have been extensively edited. The resultant estimates have been checked against earlier years and relevant other sources, including contact with data providers, to ensure the accuracy of the estimates produced. Data quality detail, such as Relative Standard Errors (RSEs), are not available for earlier data. Also, Australian agricultural data have not always been collected by the ABS and, the quality and comparability of agricultural commodity items, particularly prior to the 1900s, is uncertain. These historical data have been included in order to provide a broad picture of how the agricultural industry has changed over time.


The most current agricultural data are estimates obtained from the 2010-11 Agricultural Census.

The 2008–09, 2007-08 and 2006-07 agricultural surveys were conducted using a new, and expanded, frame based on the Australian Taxation Office's Australian Business Register (ABR). Detailed explanatory and technical notes relating to this change in frame are included in the 2005-06 PDF release of Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0).
The expanded frame means that estimates relating to agricultural commodities for the 2005–06 Agricultural Census and subsequent surveys may not be directly comparable with earlier years. It is therefore recommended that care be taken when comparing estimates across different reference periods.

Agricultural area and production data have been collected in Australia for over 130 years for key commodities such as wheat, barley, sheep and cattle. Prior to Federation in 1901, data were collected annually by each Australian colony and reported back to England. After Federation, each state continued to collect data, with data collection occurring in different formats and by a range of different individuals, for example, police officers. Such early records are only available in hardcopy format and nearly all is stored in the ABS archives. While basic area and production data for crops and numbers of livestock have been collected consistently over time, care must be taken when comparing commodity items due to changes between years in collection method, statistical methodology etc.


The Agricultural Survey, Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and five-yearly Agricultural Censuses provide a broad range of data about Australian agricultural commodities through a suite of standard products or as data customised for individual requirements. 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. Users should refer to the Explanatory Notes of these related publications (also accessible from the Related Information tab of this publication):


An extensive range of data are available from a variety of agricultural collections.

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