2010 Agricultural Census

1 September – 15 November

What is the Agricultural Census and why is it conducted?

The Agricultural Census is a total Farm Structure Survey, which aim is to provide the public, government and research institutions and international organisations with thorough and exact data on agriculture. Five agricultural censuses have been conducted in Estonia — before the Second World War in 1919, 1925, 1929 and 1939, and after Estonia gained re-independence in 2001.

The European Union has conducted Farm Structure Surveys since 1966. Every ten years the Farm Structure Survey is conducted as Agricultural Census. The Census provides a more detailed overview of agriculture than other surveys; also rare phenomena and agricultural activities on local government level are mapped. The Agricultural Census observes the activity of agricultural holdings as a whole — type of ownership of agricultural land, management, crop production and livestock farming, labour force, other gainful activities of holdings, etc. The results of the Agricultural Census are used in shaping the agricultural policy of the European Union.

Who are interviewed during the Agricultural Census?

The Census observes agricultural holdings where:

1) there is at least one hectare of utilised agricultural land or
2) less than one hectare of utilised agricultural land or utilised agricultural land is missing, but agricultural products are mainly (over a half) produced for sale.

Data about the agricultural holding are asked from its holder or representative of the holder. The lower limit of one hectare of utilised agricultural land will guarantee that the substantial part of the utilised agricultural area of Estonia is covered. Utilised agricultural land also includes permanent grassland where only maintenance mowing is performed, but for which overall area aid is received. Agricultural household plots or smaller units than agricultural holdings are not included in the 2010 Agricultural Census.

The list of agricultural holdings being interviewed in the Agricultural Census has been compiled by Statistics Estonia on the basis of administrative data (Agricultural Registers and Information Board — ARIB, register of organic farming, etc.), as well as on the basis of statistical information collected since the 2001 Agricultural Census. In case your agricultural holding has finished operating, this information is also very essential to us.

What is asked in the Agricultural Census?

  • General data: holder’s data, location of the agricultural holding, incl. the number of the most significant cadastre unit.
  • Land use: land tenure by type, utilised agricultural land by form of ownership and by field crops, mushroom growing.
  • Production methods of crop production: use of less popular land cultivation methods, soil covers in winter, existence of linear landscape elements, irrigation.
  • Number of animals and production methods of livestock farming: number of animals and poultry, keeping of animals and poultry, manure management.
  • Labour force of the agricultural holding: working time of the holder and his/her members of the family, manager, regular and temporary employees; other profitable activity of agricultural labour force.
  • Other gainful activities of the agricultural holding, use of production equipment of renewable energy.

The data of ARIB have been used as much as possible in electronic questionnaires with regard to land use, as well as the number of animals. All the data submitted in advance can be later revised by the respondent in case of need. It is important that all the animals and the whole land use should be registered, including the land that was rented but not registered in ARIB. If the land has been registered in ARIB, but is used by other persons, then the name and contact data of the real user will be asked.

The collected data will also be linked to the data of crop production and livestock farming in the register of organic farming and the data on rural development support.

When and how will the Agricultural Census be conducted?

Statistics Estonia will conduct the Agricultural Census in autumn 2010. All legal persons and those natural persons, who have joined the electronic data transmission environment eSTAT, submit the data electronically via eSTAT. The data can also be presented on paper form by post. Those who have joined eSTAT can submit the data starting from 1 September 2010 and the data must be submitted for 1 October at the latest.

Natural persons, who have not joined eSTAT, can submit the data electronically via eSTAT personal survey channel from 1 to 10 September. In order to log in the data submission environment, a person has to have access to the Internet bank or own the ID-card with valid certificates. Statistics Estonia asks everybody who has this opportunity to submit their data electronically by all means. Agricultural holdings of natural persons who have not been registered in eSTAT and who have not submitted their data to Statistics Estonia by 10 September electronically in e-Census, will be visited by an interviewer of Statistics Estonia from 15 September until 15 November.

Is it obligatory to respond to questions of the Agricultural Census?

Pursuant to the Official Statistics Act, responding to questions of the Agricultural Census is obligatory. As the survey covers all agricultural holdings, the contribution of each holding is very important. We all wish that the decisions to be made could be based on the correct data.

Where and when will the results of the Agricultural Census be published?

Statistics Estonia will publish the results of the Agricultural Census in the statistical database on the website www.stat.ee at the end of 2011 and as a printed matter in 2012. News releases, which are often reflected also in the press, inform the publicity about the time data will be released or publications published.

Where can one find additional information about the Agricultural Census?

With questions on the Agricultural Census or data submission problems, one can turn to Contact Centre of respondents of Statistics Estonia, tel +372 625 9100; or e-mail klienditugi at stat dot ee. Together we will definitely find a solution!

The questionnaire of the Agricultural Census

Security

The protection of the Census data has been arranged pursuant to the Official Statistics Act and Personal Data Protection Act and follows strict security requirements. The data collected with the Census are confidential. The collected data will be processed and used only for statistical purposes and will be published only in generalised form.

The data submitted in e-Census are protected by the strictest information security measures. Census data are submitted in the electronic data transmission environment eSTAT of Statistics Estonia, where one can log in with the ID-card or via Internet bank. Unauthorized persons have no access to the questionnaire you have filled in. While visiting you at your place, the enumerator has to submit employment certificate with a photo issued by Statistics Estonia.

Instructions and laws

The Agricultural Census is conducted pursuant to the Official Statistics Act, to the Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009. All the instructions for filling in the questionnaire are provided on the questionnaire.