• 1989-1998 MAF 410 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Statistics (Census and Prices) Division: Agricultural Census County Summary Records: Datasets

    The Agricultural and Horticultural Census is one of the main data gathering exercises for agriculture and horticulture in England and Wales. It is a survey of main agricultural holdings in both countries, covering about 99% of the total agricultural area, and is conducted annually on the first working day of June. It provides the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and the National Assembly for Wales with 'the basic physical statistics of farming: areas of land use and crops; numbers of main livestock types; and the numbers and kinds of person working on the farm summarised by parish. To 1994, the base data for the summaries was collected for all agricultural holdings. From 1995, only the larger holdings submitted annual returns, and smaller holdings were sampled on a three-yearly basis.

    Broadly speaking, the 1989-1996 censuses covered the following areas:

    • The extent and type of crops and fallow, land use and land tenure, and the size of holdings.
    • The agricultural labour force: numbers and types of farmers, managers and workers (full-time and part-time, male and female).
    • Livestock: numbers of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry and other types of farm animals (e.g. horses, farmed deer).
    • Horticulture: extent of vegetables, bulbs, flowers and fruit grown in the open, orchards, nursery stock, glasshouses and covered structures, and glasshouse crops.
    • Changes in the area of a holding (land given up or taken over), and changes in a farmer's name and address.

    Most of the data collected by the 1989-1996 Agricultural and Horticultural Censuses related to the situation of farmers on the census date, the first weekday in June each year. The census was a snapshot of holdings at a time of prime activity rather than a picture of holdings over an entire year. Consequently, it was complemented by surveys taken at other times, although these were not as comprehensive in their coverage.

    This series is one of two held at The National Archives containing agricultural census datasets, the others contain the same data summarised by parishes and a look-up table of the codes used in both county and parish datasets. See MAF 408 for these.

    The datasets are derived from the aggregated data used to produce Published Statistical Material (PSM) Statements. The datasets were initially transferred to the National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) as Microsoft Excel files, containing the data used to produce the PSM Statements. The County Summaries datasets have the following characteristics:

    • The data is aggregated to a high level. In the case of data relating to crops, farmers and workers, and livestock (corresponding to these sections of the PSM Statements), aggregated figures are provided for England and Wales, for counties within England and Wales, and for English regions (e.g. 'Yorks and Humberside', 'East Midlands Region'). Data on horticulture is aggregated to the level of England and Wales and English regions.
    • Unlike the Parish Summaries datasets (MAF 408), there is not necessarily a one-to-one relationship between the fields in the County Summaries datasets and the questions asked in the census. A field may hold data derived from more than one census question: e.g. the MIXED field in the PSM94 table of the 1994 dataset ('Cereals for threshing (excluding maize): mixed corn, rye and triticale') relates to questions 15, 16 and 33 on the 1994 census form. There is, however, a one-to-one relationship between the fields in the datasets and the items of data in the PSM Statements.
    • Some data items in the PSM Statements and in the datasets have been suppressed, to avoid disclosing information about individual holdings. This is based on MAFF's current disclosure rules.

    The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

  • MAF 412 1972-1981 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Statistics Division II: Registered Files, Retail Food Prices (STD Series) Details
  • MAF 434 1969-1982 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Food Marketing Economics: Registered Files (DU Series) Details