Deadline to collect Census of Agriculture is mid-September – CSO

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is collecting the Census of Agriculture 2020 in September.

This information was first gathered in Ireland in 1847 and since then has been collected every 10 years. This year’s census was initially due to take place in June but was postponed as a result of Covid-19.

Almost 140,000 farms will receive the Census of Agriculture questionnaire by post in the first week of September.

All farms are required to complete and return the questionnaire by Thursday, September 17.

The CSO says that in order to make it easier for people, the number of pages in the questionnaire has been reduced from eight pages to four.

Speaking about the Census of Agriculture, CSO statistician Cathal Doherty said:

“The Census of Agriculture questionnaire will begin to issue next week by post. Farmers are required by law to answer the census. We are asking farmers to complete and return the four-page form by Thursday, September 17.

Under the Statistics Act 1993, the information provided by farmers to the CSO will be strictly confidential and will only be used for statistical purposes.

“The Census of Agriculture was first collected in Ireland in 1847 and is collected every 10 years, to provide benchmark statistics on the number of farms in Ireland and the structure in terms of farm enterprise.”

Questions in the farm census are organised into three sections:

  • Farm management – farm holder, farm manager and training of the manager;
  • Livestock and poultry totals – cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and other livestock;
  • Land use – area owned, area farmed, area rented in, area rented out and grassland in the 2020 season.

The census pack that farmers will receive will contain a four-page questionnaire, an information leaflet and a freepost return envelope.

The EU-wide census is aimed at collecting, processing and publishing data on farming in each EU member state. The census uses several methods, including (in normal years at least) interviews with farmers.