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December Agricultural Survey and the Sheep and Goat Annual Inventory

Background

December Agricultural Survey

  • The December Agricultural Survey is sent to a random sample of about 14,000 holdings, across all types of farm.
  • It includes data on rents, winter crops, livestock numbers (including sheep), and machinery.
  • It is completed every year, but different farms are likely to be sampled.
  • Completion is a mandatory, legislative requirement, under the Agriculture Act 1947.
  • It is collected at the start of December.

Sheep and Goat Annual Inventory

  • The Inventory is sent to all registered sheep and goat keepers (about 20,000 keepers).
  • Keepers are required to supply data just on their sheep and goat numbers.
  • It is completed every year, in line with European Council Regulation (EC) 21/2004.
  • Completion is a mandatory, legislative requirement.
  • Failure to complete and return the Inventory also increases a keeper’s chance of inspection.
  • It was previously collected at the start of January.

However, on average about 7,000 sheep and goat keepers would be included in the December Survey sample, meaning that they used to receive two forms, one in December and one in January, both asking for sheep numbers.

 

SGAI and DAS forms

 

Changes from 2016 onwards

  • Both the Inventory and the Survey became available online (though you can still fill them in on paper if you wish).
  • The same question on sheep and goat numbers and categories has been asked in both the inventory and the survey.
  • The question hassve been changed slightly to ensure all data requirements are still met.
  • Sheep and goat keepers selected for the December Agricultural Survey are no longer sent a Sheep and Goat Inventory, which cuts back on red tape for those keepers, and reduces the Government’s administrative costs. Their sheep and goat data is taken from their December Survey instead.
  • The Inventory has been moved to the start of December.

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Changes for 2017

  • Those who used the online version in 2016, or have told us they prefer to communicate with us by email, will receive email notification of the survey, rather than receiving a printed form.

 

What it means for you

If you are a sheep and goat keeper

  • You will receive either an email or a form in the post at the end of November.
  • It will either be for a Sheep and Goat Annual Inventory or a December Agricultural Survey, depending on whether you are picked in the random sample.
  • You must complete the form.
  • The best way to do this is online. So if you receive a form it will also give you the web address and your password, together with guidance notes.
  • Alternatively you can complete the paper form and return it in the post.

 

If you are a different kind of farmer

  • You may receive an email or a December Agricultural Survey, or you may not receive anything, depending on whether you are picked in the random sample.
  • If you are picked, you must complete the form.
  • The best way to do this is online. So if you receive a form it will also give you the web address and your password, together with guidance notes.
  • Alternatively you can complete the paper form and return it in the post.

If you have any queries about this please email us at agric.stats@gov.scot or phone The Scottish Government on 0300 244 9716.