EdinaThe Agricultural Census

About agcensus

The Agricultural Census is conducted in June each year by the government departments dealing with Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Scotland, England, and Wales (i.e. SEERAD, DEFRA and ARAD). Each farmer declares the agricultural activity on the land via a postal questionnaire. The respective government departments collect the 150 items of data and publish information relating to farm holdings for recognised geographies.

Edinburgh University Data Library has developed algorithms which convert the data for recognised geographies, obtained from the government departments, into grid square estimates. The key to transforming the raw data into grid square data is the definition of each geography (e.g. parish, in the case of Scotland) in terms of 1km squares. This Framework is used in conjunction with a 7-fold classification of the land-use of the same 1km grid squares, the Landuse Framework. Agricultural Census items are distributed over those 1km grid squares with the land use category suitable for the census item in question.

The resultant grid square estimates of production are available in ASCII delimited format at various resolutions from as far back as 1969 for the three UK territories.