7101.0 - Ag Mag - The Agriculture Newsletter, May 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2009   
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Ag Mag | the agriculture newsletter


As the head of the ABS Environment and Agriculture statistical program, I would like to welcome you to this edition of the Ag Mag.

I am pleased to advise that the 2009-10 Federal Budget brought good news for the ABS with the Government announcement that the ABS will receive an additional $15 million annually in Government appropriation going forward. This increased funding will offset a large part of the ABS's deficit position which resulted in the cut to statistical programs in 2008-09.

As a result, the Australian Statistician Brian Pink has been able to restore funding to a number of ABS programs including the ABS Agricultural statistics program. If you would like more information on the ABS Budget outcomes please visit www.abs.gov.au.

Following this news the agricultural statistics collection strategy for the 2008-09 reference period is now finalised and information about this collection is included in this publication. The ABS expects to commence user consultation in relation to the 2009-10 agricultural statistics collection shortly.

Another important announcement in relation to the 2008-09 reference period is the change to the Vineyards and Apple and Pear Surveys. In the past, these collections have been jointly funded by the ABS and relevant industry groups. However, the ABS has taken the necessary decision that, where the detailed level of information collected as part of these surveys is not required for the ABS survey program, the cost of the collection will be fully user funded.

As a result, in relation to the collection of vineyards statistics, sample size and content have been reduced. The main changes will be a reduction in the amount of varietal information collected and a move from a full census to a survey-based sample for the 2008-09 reference period.

In relation to the Apple and Pear survey, this survey will not be undertaken for the 2008-09 reference period. The ABS is continuing to discuss options available to the industry for 2009-10 and beyond. The ABS will collect some data on apple and pear production through the 2008-09 Agricultural Survey and make this available through its existing suite of products.

This edition of Ag Mag highlights the results of the 2007-08 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), plans for the major 2008-09 Agricultural Statistics collection, and recent releases relating to the value of irrigated production and water use. As well, we'll take a look at a new suite of collections to provide information on the wheat industry and an exciting new project we are about to undertake as part of the Great Barrier Reef Rescue program.

If you have queries with any material in this newsletter, wish to provide any feedback on these collections or raise any issues regarding agricultural statistics in general, please contact Karen Connaughton on (02) 6252 5337 or email karen.connaughton@abs.gov.au.

Gemma Van Halderen
Branch Head
Environment and Agriculture Branch