Pesticide use in agriculture (aei_pestuse)

National Reference Metadata in ESS Standard for Quality Reports Structure (ESQRS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Estonia


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Statistical presentation
3. Statistical processing
4. Quality management
5. Relevance
6. Accuracy and reliability
7. Timeliness and punctuality
8. Coherence and comparability
9. Accessibility and clarity
10. Cost and Burden
11. Confidentiality
12. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
 



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit

 Economic and Environmental Statistics Department

1.5. Contact mail address

Tatari 51
10134 Tallinn

Estonia


2. Statistical presentation Top
2.1. Data description

See sub-categories below.

2.1.1. Main characteristics of statistics

The data on agricultural use of pesticides are collected by a web-based statistical questionnaire „Crop farming and grasslands maintenance” through the eSTAT web application. The data collected include name of used pesticide (preparation), crop treated, quantity of preparation used on the crop and crop area treated with pesticide preparation.

The quantities of preparations used are recalculated to quantities of active substances of these preparations using the active substance rates derived from the register of the Plant Protection.

2.1.2. Reference period of data collection

The reference period of the survey was 2020 growing season.

2.1.3. National legislation
Yes
2.1.3.1. Name of national legislation

Official Statistics Act, Passed 10.06.2010, RT I 2010, 41, 241 Entry into force 01.08.2010

2.1.3.2. Link to national legislation

https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/506012015002/consolide/current

2.1.3.3. Responsible organisation for national legislation

Statistics Estonia

2.1.3.4. Year of entry into force of national legislation

2010

2.1.3.5. Coverage of variables required under EU regulation

yes

2.1.3.6. Divergence national definitions from EU regulation

no

2.1.3.7. Legal obligation for respondents
Yes
2.1.4. Additional comments data description

DIRECTLY APPLICABLE LEGAL ACTS

Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 concerning statistics on pesticides

Regulation (EU) No 1264/2014 of 26 November 2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 408/2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on pesticides, as regards transmission format

Commission Regulation (EU) No 656/2011 of 7 July 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on pesticides, as regards definitions and list of active substances (Text with EEA relevance)

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2017/269 of 16 February 2017 amending Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on pesticides, as regards the list of active substances

OTHER LEGAL ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 408/2011 of 27 April 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on pesticides, as regards transmission format (Text with EEA relevance)

OTHER AGREEMENTS

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

2.2. Classification system

The classification used for pesticides corresponds to Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 (http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2009/1185/2017-03-09) of the European Parliament and of the Council.
The classification system for crops derives from the annual crop statistics survey in 2020.

2.3. Coverage - sector

As we collected data on use of pesticides as one module of Crop Statistics survey, the same crops were selected as in Crop Statistics survey. This means that the survey on the use of pesticides covered the entire utilised agricultural area in Estonia.

2.3.1. Crops covered by the statistics

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

2.3.2. Commercial non-agricultural uses of pesticides

Not covered

2.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The data reported are the quantity of each active substances listed in Annex III of Regulation 1185/2009 contained in plant protection products used on a selected crop, expressed in kg. The area treated with each substance are expressed in hectares.

2.5. Statistical unit

Agricultural holding and agricultural small unit.

2.6. Statistical population

All agricultural holdings growing the crops.

2.7. Reference area

See sub-categories below.

2.7.1. Geographical area covered

The entire territory of the country.

2.7.2. Inclusion of special territories

Not relevant

2.8. Coverage - Time

Current report refers for 2020 years crops.

2.9. Base period

Not applicable for Pesticide Use Statistics, because it is not based on an index number of time series.


3. Statistical processing Top
3.1. Source data

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes

The data on agricultural use of pesticides are collected by a web-based statistical questionnaire linked to annual „Crop production” through the eSTAT web application and by paper-based postal survey.

 Survey questionnaire is described and tested for web-based application eSTAT according to previously agreed rules. The questionnaire and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website (in Estonian) just for the year 2020: https://www.stat.ee/en/submit-data/questionnaires/13062020

 https://www.stat.ee/sites/default/files/kysimustikud/2020/21214130620_Questionnaire_as_a_PDF_file_en.pdf

3.2. Frequency of data collection

Once during 5 years period

3.3. Data collection

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

3.4. Data validation

Collected data undergo several validation processes. Data are checked for any obvious errors upon receipt.  Arithmetical and logical control procedures were used during the filling in of the questionnaire and also during the data processing.

Checking procedure includes checking of the usage rates against the maximum allowed rate. When inconsistencies are found, for example where there are too high rates of application or not allowed preparation usage, data are checked first with the farm records and if needed the respondent were contacted and data were revised. Checking of data completeness (that all necessary fields are filled) was performed by statisticians as well.

Mistakes were corrected and unclear items were cleared out by a repetitive questions to the farmers (by telephone or email).

Automatic and manual validation measures were both applied. Automatic controls were applied as a first measure. Arithmetical and logical control procedures were used during the filling in of the questionnaire and also during the data processing. Checking procedure includes checking of the usage rates against the maximum allowed rate.

Data were checked for any obvious errors upon receipt. When inconsistencies are found, for example where there are too high rates of application or not allowed preparation usage, data are checked first with the farm records and if needed the respondents were contacted and data were revised.

Validation measures target the outliers, completness and the consistency with the rates per hectar values.

3.4.1. Data validation measures
Manual
Automatic
3.4.2. Target of data validation measures
Completeness
Consistency
3.4.3. Specification target of data validation

Not relevant

3.5. Data compilation

In 2020, model-based calculation was used. The calculations were based on data from a set of sample agricultural holdings what we call panel data. The panel was formed from the agricultural holdings that submitted data for the survey on the use of plant protection products.The data on use of pesticides are collected as one module of Crop Statistics survey.  For the sample agricultural holdings, data were available on economic size (standard output) , crop area and quantities of plant protection products used on different crops. The data of the panel were used for grossing up to entire Estonian crop production. On the basis of the holdings belonging to the panel, a coefficient was found that related the total use of plant protection products  and the total economic size of crop production.The obtained coefficient was applied to the total Estonia economic size of crop production to find the total amount of plant protection products used in Estonia. The use of plant protection products by active substances and crops was found on the basis of the respective distributions of panel agricultural holdings.

3.6. Adjustment

Seasonal adjustments were not applied.


4. Quality management Top
4.1. Quality assurance

See sub-categories below.

4.1.1. Quality management system in organisation
Yes
4.1.2. Specification of implementation

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

4.1.3. Peer review
Yes
4.1.4. Main conclusions peer review

Peer review was not conducted regarding 2015 statistical year of data. Link to the last Peer Review: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/64157/4372828/2015-EE-Report/bf7035d3-09f9-4cc7-87a4-675e820508cb

4.1.5. Future quality improvements
Improve data validation
4.1.6. Specification of quality improvements

Improvement of the data validation checks will give the bases for the next round of improvemnts in quality of statistics in this domain.

4.1.7. Additional comments quality assurance

No additional comments

4.2. Quality management - assessment

The quality of micro-data was considered quite low. The data provided were inaccurate and incomplete, therefore we decided to use model-based calculation.

4.2.1. Overall quality
Stable
4.2.2. Relevance
Stable
4.2.3. Accuracy and reliability
Stable
4.2.4. Timeliness and punctuality
Stable
4.2.5. Comparability
Stable
4.2.6. Coherence
Stable
4.2.7. Additional comments quality assessment

The quality of micro-data was considered quite low. The data provided were inaccurate and incomplete, therefore we decided to use model-based calculation.

 

National users of pesticide use data are: Agricultural Research Centre, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Ministry of Rural Affairs but also Environment and other ministries, research and education institutions, the media, other organizations and companies, as well as private persons who have an interest in pesticide use statistics. No specific feedback regarding the particularities of the data were recieved.

Users need pesticide use data in order to estimate effects of pesticides on the environment and food safety. Data on pesticide usage could be used also for assistment the monitoring of pesticide contamination in surface and ground waters.

 The users’ proposals for the Statistical Programme are collected every year in the system KUNDE, which enables the transparaent handling of the proposals dissemination and subject matter departments to analyse the needs of users.

 In our user’s opinion, the collection of data at five-year intervals does not provide a sufficient overview of the use of plant protection products, because one of the biggests factor influencing the use of plant protection products is the weather in the specific year for which the data were collected. Therefore, drawing conclusions on the use of plant protection products over a longer period of time is difficult and may be inaccurate. Since Article 15 (2) of Directive 2009/128 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, pp. 71-86), Member States and the Commission shall calculate a harmonized risk indicator for each calendar year. The Ministry of Rural Affairs would need to receive an overview of the use of plant protection products every year or at least every second year. It is a measure of the development plan for agriculture and fisheries (ie the national development plan) and is therefore a need for national statistics.

Accuracy and reliability of collected data were initially low and measures were taken to improve the quality of produced statistics.

Timeliness is T+161 in days. This refers to the time lag between the reference time point (or the end of the reference period) and the time for publication of the statistics on a national level in days.

Data publication was timely.

The data are comparable with the statistics of previous years.The data are comparable to the other countries data collected by the means of regulation of European Commission concerning statistics on pesticides.

The data are complete and correspond to data composition requirements prescribed by the regulation of European Commission concerning statistics on pesticides.

The quality could be somewhat lower in case of uncommon crops and for some rare active substances due to sample survey applied. It is possible that some holdings, using uncommon pesticides, were not included to the sample. From other side, some unique pesticides used by single holding might be somehow overestimated due to grossing up the sample.


5. Relevance Top
5.1. Relevance - User Needs

National users of pesticide use data are: Agricultural Research Centre, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Ministry of Rural Affairs but also other ministries, research and education institutions, the media, other organizations and companies, as well as private persons who have an interest in pesticide use statistics. Users need pesticide use data in order to estimate effects of pesticides on the environment. Data on pesticide usage could be used also for assistment the monitoring of pesticide contamination in surface and ground water.

In our user’s opinion, the collection of data at five-year intervals does not provide a sufficient overview of the use of plant protection products, because one of the biggests factor influencing the use of plant protection products is the weather in the specific year for which the data were collected.

5.1.1. Unmet user needs

Users are interested in yearly data (every year) and complete timeseries.

5.1.2. Plans for satisfying unfilled user needs

Compilation of statistics on the use of pesticides every year depends on financing. Negotiations regarding the budget are going on with Ministry of Finance

5.1.3. Additional comments user needs

No more comments

5.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

The users’ proposals for the Statistical Programme are collected every year in the system KUNDE, which enables the transparent handling of the proposals dissemination and subject matter departments to analyse the needs of users.

5.2.1. User satisfaction survey
Yes
5.2.2. Year of user satisfaction survey

Yearly

5.2.3. Satisfaction level
Neutral
5.2.4. Additional comments user satisfaction

The users’ proposals for the Statistical Programme are collected every year in the system KUNDE, which enables the transparent handling of the proposals dissemination and subject matter departments to analyse the needs of users. 

User satistisfaction is not scaled to evaluate the satisfaction with pesticide use statistics surevy.

5.3. Completeness

See sub-category below.

5.3.1. Data completeness - rate

Not applicable for Pesticide Use Statistics because in this data collection, there is no target on the number of data. Member States are asked to collect data on representative crops without stipulating the number of crops.


6. Accuracy and reliability Top
6.1. Accuracy - overall

Main sources error in pesticide statistical outputs refer for the difficulties in recording these data by agricultural holdings, the burden in delivering complete data by crop fields and quantities of pesticides.   The importance of sampling errors is considered to be minor.

In summary assessment the comparison of the sales and use of pesticides gives the indication of the coverage of most marketed pesticides. However for some pestides like glyphosate, the difference is quite large. In our best current understanding non-agricultural use could be one source of difference. Particulary in case of glyphosate, other uses in addition to the use as herbicide, could contribute to the difference in sales and uses figures as well.

6.1.1. Grading of accuracy
High
6.1.2. Factors lowering accuracy
Coverage error
Measurement error
Non-response error
6.1.3. Specification of factors

Measurement error and non-response error. Main sources if error in pesticide statistical outputs refer for the difficulties in recording these data by holdings, the burden in delivering complete data by crop fields and quentities of pesticides.   The importance of sampling errors is considered to be minor.

6.1.4. Additional comments overall accuracy

Main sources if error in pesticide statistical outputs refer for the difficulties in recording these data by holdings, the burden in delivering complete data by crop fields and quantities of pesticides.

6.2. Sampling error

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

6.3. Non-sampling error

See sub-categories below.

6.3.1. Coverage error

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

6.3.2. Measurement error

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

 

Approximately half of total records have been corrected for the mistakes. However, some errors might be unidentified and so the true error rate is unknown. If pesticide use was not indicated it was difficult to figure out if it was mistake or if the pesticides were really not used.

 

The most common mistakes made by farmers regarding filling in the questinnaire were as follows:

  1. Not presenting the data on used pesticeds at all.
  2. Presenting not complete dataset (leaving some data fields blank in questionnaire).
  3. Expressing quantity of used pesticides in different units than requested in questionnaire (quantities not quantifiable in kilograms or liters).
  4. On paper format, some information were not readable due to bad handwriting style.
  5. Data about different crops are aggregated under one pesticide use quantity.
  6. Use quantity contains data of used active substances other than pesticides (for example on surfactants (additives) which were not substracted before presenting data or diluent used, i.e., the total volume of material in the tank).
  7. Records could be sometimes an erroneous duplicate of another record.

The mistakes were corrected as far as possible: these questions were discussed and clarified bilaterally with agricultural holdings

6.3.3. Non response error

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

6.3.4. Processing error

See the attached Excel file in the Annexes.

6.3.5. Model assumption error

Not relevant

6.4. Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal adjustment is not applicable to pesticide use statistics since all plant protection treatments associated directly or indirectly with the crop during the reference period are reported.

6.5. Data revision - policy

General revision policy adopted for the organisation and the data disseminated.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia https://www.stat.ee/en/statistics-estonia/about-us/strategy/principles-dissemination-official-statistics. The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, if errors are discovered, if new or better data become available.

6.6. Data revision - practice

Data were revised once

6.6.1. Data revision - average size

4 %

6.6.2. Data revisions - conceptual changes
No
6.6.3. Reason for revisions

Some discovered  mistakes in dataprocessing

6.6.4. Impact of revisions
Not important
6.6.5. Additional comments data revisions

No comments


7. Timeliness and punctuality Top
7.1. Timeliness

See sub-categories below.

7.1.1. Time lag - first result

No lag. The data were released 161 days upon the end of the reference year.

7.1.2. Time lag - final result

The data are released 161 days upon the end of the reference year (T + 161).

Data were punctual. / Stable /

There is no distinction between first and final results, only final data were publicated.

7.1.3. Reasons for possible long production times?

Data were published in June 2021.

The production process consists of following chronological steps:

1. Data collection (August-November 2020).

2. Data editing (checking of the survey questionnaires, correction of errors) (December 2020-February 2021).

4. Data processing and data compilation (March-May 2021).

5. Dissemination of the data on Statistics Estonia webpage (June 2021).

7.2. Punctuality

See sub-categories below.

7.2.1. Punctuality - delivery and publication

No time lag. The data have been published at the time announced in the release calender.

7.2.2. Data release according to schedule
YES
7.2.3. Data release on target date
YES
7.2.4. Reasons for delays

No delays


8. Coherence and comparability Top
8.1. Comparability - geographical

Data are collected on a country level (NUTS 0). Therefore, the data are not comparable on a regional level. The geographical comparability between countries is evaluated by Eurostat.

8.1.1. Asymmetry for mirror flow statistics - coefficient

Not applicable, because there are no mirror flows in Pesticide Use Statistics.

8.2. Comparability - over time

Not applicable for Pesticide Use Statistics, because surveys are occasional and no time series is formed.

8.2.1. Length of comparable time series

2013-2015, 2020(new methodolody as a model based calculations were applied in addition).

8.3. Coherence - cross domain

Pesticide use data are coherent with agricultural statistics regarding crop production and trade statistics regarding pesticide sales data.

Pesticide use data were compared with pesticide sales data of 2020.

 

Non-agricultural use covers probably to certain extent the difference between sold and used quantities. Some quantity sold (purched by farmers) might be intended for next year use. As pesticides were not produced in Estonia, sold quantity refers to quantity imported to Estonia by sale companies and some quantity of imported pesticides might be not bought and used by farmes yet.

8.4. Coherence - sub annual and annual statistics

Not applicable for Pesticide Use Statistics, because the data collection is based on a five-year period.

8.5. Coherence - National Accounts

Not applicable, because it has no relevance for national accounts.

8.6. Coherence - internal

Data are consistent.


9. Accessibility and clarity Top
9.1. Dissemination format - News release

https://www.stat.ee/en/uudised

9.1.1. Publication of news releases
Yes
9.1.2. Link to news releases

https://www.stat.ee/en/uudised/news-release-2016-135

9.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Not relevant

9.2.1. Production of paper publication
No
9.2.2. English paper publication
No
9.2.3. Production of electronic publication
No
9.2.4. English electronic publication
No
9.2.5. Link to publications

Not relevant

9.3. Dissemination format - online database

The data of pesticide used are disseminated via the Statistics Estonia website in June.

 

Table name is „Quantity of pesticides used and the basic area treated in agricultural holdings by active substance and crop“.

 

The users of the public database are not required to register themselves. The use of the public database is free of charge. Database is published in Estonian and English.

The public database allows:

• fast and easy access to statistics 24 hours a day;

• to receive besides the newest data also data for previous periods;

• to choose only the required data from tables;

• to view the selected data on the computer screen and save them in one’s own computer in different formats (Excel, PC-AXIS, HTML, etc.).

9.3.1. Data tables - consultations

Electronic automated aid „ITI“ is consulting the users. 

9.3.2. Accessibility of on-line database
Yes
9.3.3. Link to on-line database

https://www.stat.ee/en

 

https://andmed.stat.ee/en/stat/keskkond__pollumajanduskeskkond/KK208

 

https://andmed.stat.ee/en/stat/keskkond__pollumajanduskeskkond/KK2081

 

https://andmed.stat.ee/en/stat/keskkond__pollumajanduskeskkond/KK2082

 

9.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Micro-data have not been disseminated.

 

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to micro-data and anonymisation of micro-data are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s „Procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes”: http://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

9.4.1. Accessibility of micro-data
No
9.4.2. Link to micro-data

Not relevant

9.5. Dissemination format - other

Data are used in dashboards of indicators displayed on statistics Estonia website.

9.6. Documentation on methodology

The data are supplemented with the description of the methodology and relevant definitions which are available on the Statistics Estonia website.

The quality report has been submitted to Eurostat in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

A common methodology for the collection of pesticide usage statistics within agriculture and horticulture, Eurostat (2008) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ramon/statmanuals/files/KS-RA-08-010-EN.pdf

9.6.1. Availability of national reference metadata
Yes
9.6.2. Link to national reference metadata

https://www.stat.ee/en/find-statistics/methodology-and-quality/esms-metadata/10502

9.6.3. Availability of methodological papers
No
9.6.4. Link to methodological papers

Not available on a web.

9.6.5. Availability of handbook
No
9.6.6. Link to handbook

Not available.

9.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available

9.7.1. Metadata completeness - rate

Not available

9.7.2. Metadata - consultations

Not available

9.7.3. Availability of quality report
NO
9.7.4. Link to quality report

Not available


10. Cost and Burden Top

Filling the pesticide use questionnaire is quite big burden to the farmers. It has taken in average 108 minutes for respondents to fill pesticide use questionnaire. The processing of the data is time and labor consuming also for the statistician as there were quite much misunderstandings from farmer’s side during the filling out the questionnaire.

The cost of a statistical work in Statistical Office was estimated at 7,5 thousand euros both in 2020 and 2021.

10.1. Efficiency gains
None
10.2. Specification efficiency gains

Not relevant

10.3. Measures to reduce burden
Other
10.4. Specification burden reduction

Develop administrative electronic databases for pesticide use.


11. Confidentiality Top
11.1. Confidentiality - policy

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

11.1.1. Transmission of confidential national data to Eurostat
Yes
11.1.2. Confidentiality according to Regulation
Yes
11.1.3. Data confidentiality policy

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: http://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/19410. Data protection is guaranteed upon the dissemination of statistics. Data are disseminated or transmitted without characteristics enabling the identification of data subject, data were at least of three data subjects (whereby the role of a person’s data in consolidated data shall not exceed 90%). Data subject is a natural of legal person whose data have been collected.

11.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not relevant

11.2.1. Procedures for confidentiality

Not relevant

11.2.2. Additional comments confidentiality - data treatment

No comments


12. Comment Top

No comments


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
ESQRS_ANNEX_PESTUSE