June Agricultural Census 2021: guidance for farmers (SAF)

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

1st June 2021 SAF Census Survey ID 0669

Guidance on how to complete your Census

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 land 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 those livestock on contract.

You should include all of your livestock, unless the land-owner is managing them on contract for you. We will take into account your seasonal lets when calculating stocking rates. You can tell us about the land you rent in, on seasonal lets, in section 1, boxes 12 and 13.

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

Section 1: Area of location (pages 1 and 2)

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 RP&S information is incorrect, contact your local AFRC-RPID office who will be able to help correct the information.

Section 2: Woodland and Protected Crops (page 2)

Exclude produce grown under low inaccessible cover such as fleeces.

Sections 3 to 6 (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, 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 3: Pigs (page 3)

Please complete as above.

Section 4: Sheep (page 3)

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

Section 5: Poultry (page 3)

Exclude any wild birds and game.

Section 6: Miscellaneous livestock (page 3)

  • horses.  Include in box 2 horses used in agricultural production.  Include in box 3 all other horses and ponies including racehorses, equestrian, those used in pony trekking, riding, etc
  • there is now a separate box for donkeys
  • bee hives. 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 7: Labour (page 4)

  • if you do farm work on more than one location, do not enter yourself or your spouse on more than one return. 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). Enter other partners/directors in section 8
  • two people living together as conjugal partners, without being married, are also treated as occupiers/spouse

Section 8: 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 7
  • 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 9: Non-regular, contract labour and migrant workers (page 4)

Please note that, unlike Section 8, 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 8, boxes 13 and 14.

Boxes 2 and 3: For agricultural contract and migrant workers, please include workers who are employed by a third party, but 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 form, please sign the declaration on page 4 and return the form in the enclosed prepaid envelope

Read the privacy notice explaining how we will use your data

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