7.4 Machinery (Tables C27)
Information on tractors is collected every year in the December Survey, while data on other machinery was, in the past, collected in alternate years, though this has now changed. The data relate only to the larger agricultural holdings that are surveyed in December. The results represent approximately 23,200 holdings, or 91 per cent of agricultural land.
When considering trends in machinery, it should be noted that a large amount of agricultural work is done using contractors and their machinery, and these may not necessarily be included within the survey responses.
Changes to the reporting form means that 2015 machinery data are not comparable with previous years. However, Chart 7.8 shows that the numbers in most categories of machinery have fallen over the last ten years. Within tractors, there has been an increase in the number of more powerful tractors (those over 108 horsepower), but this has not kept pace with the drop in the number of less powerful ones. Only in transport vehicles has there been an increase, with the numbers increasing 44 per cent between 2004 and 2014, though the increase in 2014 may have also been due to a change in the way the data were collected.
Chart 7.8: Machinery, 2004 to 2014