Latest agricultural survey - No of poultry fell by 11 per cent

UK - Results from the December 2006 Agricultural Survey, which gives a picture of agricultural activity in Scotland.
calendar icon 8 March 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

The trends between December 2005 and December 2006 show:

  • For intensive livestock, the number of pigs fell by five per cent to 469,700, and the number of poultry fell by 11 per cent from 14.6 million to 13.1 million. [see note 5]

  • The number of sheep fell by one per cent from 5.3 million to 5.2 million. The number of cattle also fell by one per cent from 1.90 million to 1.87 million

  • The area of wheat rose by six per cent from 96,000 hectares to 102,000 hectares. The area of barley was unchanged, remaining at around 55,000 hectares

  • The total number of regular staff employed fell by four per cent, and there was an increase of seven per cent in the number of casual/seasonal staff. Overall, there was a slight drop in the number of staff employed (down by around 500 to 20,000)

The results relate to the annual December agricultural survey of main holdings - i.e. holdings above a certain economic or physical threshold (generally, those of more than one hectare or where the net value of crops & livestock is more than 1.67 European Size Units). The returns are completed by farmers, who provide information on the crops and livestock on the land which they own or rent on a permanent basis.

Since 2000 an annual reclassification exercise has been carried out, which results in a number of main holdings being reclassified as minor holdings and vice versa. As these statistics cover main holdings only, there are slight discontinuities in the data since 2000.

In 2006 the December agricultural survey covered around 12,000 of the 27,000 main agricultural holdings in Scotland. Since these results are based on a sample, the estimates are subject to a degree of uncertainty.

This release of December survey results contains minor revisions for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. These revisions have been made to correct an error in the programs used to estimate agricultural activity for non-responders for the June Census. This affects the December results as June values are used in estimating December values for holdings that are not sampled. Although most of these revisions are small, they are all in a downward direction.

It should be noted that poultry numbers in December are subject to some variation due to the nature of operations in this sector. This can lead to temporary decreases in stock levels, which has occurred in 2006.

New charts showing ten year trends have been made available - they are presented alongside the statistical tables.

All figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000 except pigs and labour which are rounded to the nearest 100. Figures may not, therefore, add to totals.

Percentage figures, which have been calculated using unrounded figures, have been rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent

To view the December 2006 Agricultural Survey, please click here

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