In 1918–1940 four agricultural censuses were conducted (in 1919, 1925, 1929 and 1939). The Agricultural Census Act (RT 1938, 97, 835) served as a basis of the last pre-war agricultural census. On the basis of this act the Agricultural Census Committee was formed (chairman — Head of the Chancery of State, assistant chairmen — Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Director of the State Central Bureau of Statistics, members — representatives of Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of War, the State Central Bureau of Statistics, Institute of Conjuncture, Chamber of Agriculture, Chamber of Farm Labourers and Smallholders and Chamber of Fishery), the tasks of which were:
- compiling the plan of conducting the Agricultural Census,
- approval of questions of the Census and the formulas related to it,
- fixing the deadlines of the Census,
- fixing the processing plan of the Census results and the extent of publishing.
The factual processor of the data and publisher was the State Central Bureau of Statistics.
The data on agricultural assets, human labour force and status of branches of manufacturing were collected by Agricultural Census. The Agricultural Census committee approved six questionnaires for the Census (questionnaires of land and farms, questionnaire of small holdings, questionnaire of horticulture, fishing and machinery and a summary questionnaire of the data on farms). A detailed instruction of the Agricultural Census was compiled (“Põllumajandusloenduse juhis”, Tallinn 1939. “Instruction of the Agricultural Census”).
According to the plan of the Agricultural Census committee in 1939 the units of enumeration were:
- all land units in rural municipalities,
- all farms in rural municipalities and within the jurisdiction of cities.
In addition the units of enumeration were:
- agricultural machinery outside farms,
- gardening farms producing horticultural crops for sale,
- agricultural holdings engaged in fishing.
Almost 1,200 enumerators were engaged to conduct the Agricultural Census, in addition instructors and leading staff was engaged. The questionnaires were filled in during the period of 8 June 1939 – 3 July 1939. The first data arrived in the State Central Bureau of Statistics at the end of July and the last ones in the middle of August. The results of the Agricultural Census were published in the following publications:
- “Eelkokkuvõtteid 1939. aasta põllumajandusloenduse andmeist” (Tallinn 1939). “The preliminary results on the data of the 1939 Agricultural Census”,
- “Põllumajandusloendus 1. Vihik” (Tallinn 1940). “The Agricultural Census. Volume 1”.