OUTCOMES OF THE CONSULTATION
The consultation process affirmed the ongoing importance and widespread use of Agricultural Census data among users across government, industry and the wider community. Users identified a very broad range of applications for Agricultural Census data, including the development and monitoring of agricultural policy, development of services and infrastructure for the industry, developing and implementing business plans and identifying areas of growth and growth opportunities, among others. Common themes emerging from the consultation included:
- The ongoing importance of commodity data (area, production and value data for key agricultural commodities) as a high priority for users and as a critical measure of agricultural output, with strong interest shown for a greater selection of commodities to be collected;
- Strong interest in employment and demographic data in order to inform issues such as farm productivity and succession planning – this included data such as number of employees (ongoing or seasonal), age, gender, level of education of farmers, and number of years in farming;
- Interest in farm income data to measure farm productivity, profitability and sustainability, including sources of off-farm income and total income sources from off-farm sources; and
- The ongoing importance of data on land management and water use.