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Announcing the 2011 ABS Agricultural Census - Australia's data harvest

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Announcing the 2011 ABS Agricultural Census - Australia's data harvest Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 DAFF11/175LJ

Joint media release Bill Shorten, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Approximately 170,000 agricultural businesses will contribute to the second biggest data collection project in Australia - the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2011 Agricultural Census - Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten announced today.

The Agricultural Census is the primary source of information about the agricultural sector in Australia, and the only source of agricultural information for some small regions.

In launching the Agricultural Census, Mr Shorten said “The Ag Census is an exciting opportunity for farmers to have their say. The information they provide is used to understand and support local communities. No other set of data shows what is happening with this degree of accuracy and relevance to the entire Australian agricultural community.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig said he welcomed the opportunity to gather data that would inform Australian farmers, the wider agriculture sector and Government.

“This snapshot of the current state of Australian agricultural businesses provides industry leaders with an important insight into the future directions of the sector. It is also essential information for Government to use when developing policies which affect our farmers and the Australian community,” Mr Ludwig said.

”The ABS is measuring agricultural activity in every pocket of Australia. It will determine the contribution of agriculture to both local and national economies, while also collecting information about emerging trends in farm management, water use and farm-related environmental issues,” Mr Shorten said.

“This year, Australia’s agricultural producers are able to contribute to the ABS’s data collection through a new online survey form, which will improve the quality of the data collected.”

“By producing an online option, the ABS is also acknowledging the increased use of the web in regional areas. This option makes it easy for both the ABS and for those respondents who prefer to work electronically,” Mr Shorten said.

Mr Ludwig encouraged rural businesses approached by the ABS to have their say in the Ag Census. This Census provides a valuable opportunity for the agricultural sector to let the Government and Australian community know about the vital work you do.”

The ABS has more information on the 2011 Agricultural Census.