June Agricultural Census 2021: guidance for farmers (Non-SAF)

Guidance for Non-SAF customers on how to complete your census forms.

1st June 2021 Census Survey ID 0670

Guidance on how to complete your Census

You have been sent a form as you are the registered owner or tenant of land that has the potential for agricultural use now or in the future. Although you may not actively be farming the land at present, it is important that we have a full picture of the present activity on the land to help gauge the health of the farming industry as a whole.   

If you have an RP&S account, the quickest and easiest way to complete your census is online on the Rural Payments and Services (RP&S) website. Login to your RP&S account and select Ag Census. Alternatively, you can complete the enclosed paper form.  Below is guidance that will help you complete the census online or by paper.  If you require any further help to complete the form or further information, please contact the Agricultural Census Operations team on 0300 244 9788 and leave a message or email agricsurveys@gov.scot, providing your location code.  

When land is let on a seasonal basis, the census form should be completed by the owner NOT the seasonal tenant. The seasonal tenant should supply you with details of their land-use. However, do not include their livestock, unless you are managing them on contract.

IMPORTANT - please complete all sections with information held as at 1st June 2021 unless otherwise directed.

Section 1: Area of location and Section 2: Seasonal rents (page 1)

The pre-printed information on your form is taken from the information we hold, as recorded on 1st May 2021. If any of the pre-printed information is incorrect, please contact your local ARE-RPID office who will be able to help correct the information.

Section 3:  Land use (page 2)

Enter the area, including headlands and ditches, of each crop grown on this location at 1st June 2021. Land being prepared for a crop this year should be returned as under that crop.

Crop areas etc. under Agri Environment schemes should be included in the relevant category where possible, otherwise enter under ‘other crops’ (see below).

The total of all crops, grasses, rough grazing, woodland, other land etc. entered should be shown in box 80, and this figure must agree with the actual area of this location (Section 1, box 11).

Section 4 to 7: Livestock (page 3)


  • livestock belonging to you, your workers or family, that are on this location
  • livestock belonging to you, temporarily on someone else’s land but which they are not managing on a contract
  • livestock you are keeping and managing on contract for someone else. If you are holding livestock under a formal “bed and breakfast” contract, also please include them
  • livestock sent for sale on 1st June 2021

Do not include:-

  • livestock that are located at other locations recorded under other farm codes
  • livestock kept on contract for you by another person
  • livestock temporarily on your farm owned by another person and which you are not managing on contract
  • cattle figures, as we collect these from BCMS

Section 4: Pigs (page 3)

Please complete as above.

Section 5: Sheep (page 3)

Exclude your share in any Sheep Stock Club; the Club Secretary will complete a return for these sheep.

Section 6: Poultry (page 3)

Exclude any wild birds and game birds.

Section 7: Miscellaneous livestock(page 3)

Horses. Include in box 2 horses used in agricultural production. Include in box 3 all other horses, ponies including racehorses, equestrian, those used in pony trekking, riding, etc. There is now a separate box for donkeys. 

Beehives. Include both those owned by you or those that are brought in from elsewhere, but only include hives that are on your land on census day 1st June 2021.

Section 8: Labour (page 4)

If you do farm work on more than one location, do not enter yourself or your spouse on more than one form. If the farm is run by a partnership or company, enter details of only one of the working partners/directors as the occupier (and his or her spouse) and other partners/directors in Section 9.  

Part-time work is for less than 38 hours each week.

Two people living together as conjugal partners, without being married, are also treated as occupiers/spouse.

Section 9: All other labour (page 4)

This Section relates to all other persons contracted to work on the location at the 1st June 2021 (including those doing office work). 

Please include any staff who were sick or on holiday; any working partners who were not entered in the previous Section; any part-time staff who may not have been present due to their work pattern. Persons doing farm work, includes those employed to do drainage, ditching, maintenance, repair work and transport of farm goods.

  • exclude anyone working under Youth Training (unless they were employed and paid for by you), school children, non-farm workers (working on buildings, installing plant or carrying out contract work) and gardeners or estate workers who do no farm work
  • exclude non-working partners and anyone else who has already been entered in Section 8
  • part-time work is for less than 38 hours each week
  • casual and seasonal workers are those employed directly by the location to work but doing work of a temporary or seasonal nature. Do not include workers employed by third parties

Section 10: Non-regular, contract labour and migrant workers (page 4)

Please note that, unlike Section 9, this relates to the last twelve months, not just census day.

Box 1: Enter the total number of working days for non-family labour employed on a non-regular basis over the last year. For example, some of these may be those currently employed and included in Section 9 boxes 13 and 14.

Boxes 2 and 3: For agricultural contract and migrant workers, please include workers who are employed by a third party, and not any workers who are employed directly by the location.

Person working days is an estimate of the number of full working days for people employed in that category, for example:

  • 3 workers for 5 full days = 15 person working days
  • 10 workers for half a day = 5 person working days
  • total number of person working days = 20

Contract labour – does not include unpaid mutual aid or work done by accounting firms.

When you have completed all relevant sections of the census please complete the declaration section and press submit

Read the privacy notice explaining how we will use your data.

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