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Agricultural statistics in for shake-up

by Grain Central, 23 February 2018

THE Australian Government is working with industry to modernise the agricultural statistics system to reduce the burden on farmers, minimise data collection costs and improve the accuracy and quality of statistics.

The move comes at a time when farmers have been questioning why there is often a significant disparity between crop estimates produced by Australia’s agencies (see Grain Central story).

ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the ‘Roadmap to improve the agricultural statistics system’ had been developed to deliver an enhanced and modernised agricultural data collection system.

“It will better support the agriculture sector by improving access to current, accurate and concise information so farmers, industry and government can best prepare for any future challenges,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“The roadmap will assist the agriculture industry to guide and coordinate the longer term changes required to deliver a modernised agricultural statistics system. With farmers working with RDCs and industry bodies, we will ensure the collection of data is streamlined, useful and fit-for-purpose.

“Industry, government and other stakeholders have been using the current system for more than a century; we need a system which uses modern data collection methods which continues to support the best possible on-farm, industry and policy decisions.

“This continues the work we have undertaken to improve access to agricultural data, including the land use mapping information we updated last year to show how Australia’s landscape is being used.

“This comprehensive land mapping data covers over 585 million hectares, or 76 per cent of Australia, and is the best available.

“Electronic data systems like the agricultural statistics system and land mapping information are critical tools for assisting producers prepare and plan for the future.”

The ‘Roadmap to improve the agricultural statistics system’ was developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Further information about the Roadmap to improve the agricultural statistics system and land mapping data can be found here agriculture.gov.au/improving-ag-stats

Source: ABARES

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