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The Annual Agricultural and Horticultural Census is now open and will be online again this year.

The Census is one of the world’s longest running surveys having been collated since 1847 and the deadline for completion is 30th June.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA said: “The survey has been compiled since 1847 and is an extremely important tool to assess trends across the agriculture and horticulture sectors. We use all this information to help form many of my Department’s decisions and policies on supporting Northern Ireland’s farming industry. It’s therefore very important for all farmers to fill in the survey and help us understand how and where to direct resources.”

Last year’s survey highlighted some interesting facts:

  • There are 25,896 farm businesses in Northern Ireland.
  • For every person in Northern Ireland there are 14 chickens, almost one cow, one sheep and a third of a pig.
  • There are 51,301 farm workers in Northern Ireland (including farmers, their spouses, full-time, part-time and casual workers.)
  • Most farms are involved in livestock production with 92% assigned to a livestock type.
  • 10% were classified as dairy farms and 79% as cattle and sheep farms.
  • Grass accounted for almost 80% of all area farmed.

The Minister continued: “I am encouraging everyone to take the 15 minute survey before the 30th June deadline, and ensure we can capture what’s happening across Northern Ireland.”

All the information collected during the census will be treated in a completely confidential manner. As an additional security feature within the online format of the survey, each of Northern Ireland’s farm businesses have been provided with a unique five-digit code to safeguard identity when logging into the service.

To access the form go to [email protected] use your unique five-digit code and complete details as requested. However, if difficulties are encountered when completing the online form, please contact [email protected] or call us on 028 9052 5432.