Farm structure (ef)

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

Compiling agency: Statistics Netherlands

Time Dimension: 2016-A0

Data Provider: NL1

Data Flow: FSS_ESQRS_A


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

Download


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation
Statistics Netherlands
1.2. Contact organisation unit
Environmental, energy and spatial statistics, team Agriculture and Nature
1.5. Contact mail address
Postbus 24500
2490 HA Den Haag


2. Statistical presentation Top
2.1. Data description
1. Brief history of the national survey 
There is a long history to the agricultural census in the Netherlands. From 1934 onwards a census has been carried out (almost) every year. In recent years it is no longer purely a statistical project, but serves several purposes: on the one hand production of statistics by Statistics Netherlands and creating a frame for sampling, on the other hand providing data on individual holdings for administrative purposes by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (the Ministry). Since the Ministry and Statistics Netherlands have a common interest in the census, it is held as a joint effort.

Establishment and update of the statistical register
Using information from the administrative farm register (AFR), held by RVO*), and census information of several years Statistics Netherlands has built up a statistical farm register (SFR). Since 2015 information from the Business Register (BR), held by the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), is used to update the AFR. From 2016 onwards only holdings with a registration in the BR compliant with Regulation 1166/2008 are included in the SFR. Registration in the Business Register is compulsory for every company and almost every legal entity in the Netherlands.

 

With the information from the BR and the AFR the SFR forms a virtually complete register of agricultural holdings in the Netherlands, thus providing a perfect basis for stratification and efficient sampling of subsequent agricultural statistics. The SFR contains name, address and several other characteristics of the holding and a unique registration number.

*) RVO: 'Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland' (‘Netherlands Enterprise Agency’) is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and works at the instigation of ministries and the European Union. RVO is a.o. responsible for the ‘combined data collection’ for the agricultural census, CAP subsidies, and enforcement of the manure law.

 

2. Legal framework of the national survey
- the national legal framework The agricultural census is part of a combined data collection for (CAP) subsidies, enforcement of the Manure law, environmental and policy information, and statistics. Since the agricultural census is part of this combined data collection, the legal framework consists of the corresponding national and Communal regulations.

The main legal base for national policy information is the Agricultural Act. Furthermore many questions in the national census are based on the Manure law. Since the combined data collection also provides information for CAP subsidies the legal framework also includes the CAP regulations. Finally, since information from the agricultural census is also used for EU statistics (a.o. crops and livestock statistics), these regulations can also be considered part of the legal framework.

Each year the announcement to hold an agricultural census is published in the Official Government Gazette.

For Statistics Netherlands the agricultural census is part of the working program. The working program is established by the Central Commission for Statistics, an independent body in which many sectors of the society are represented. The status of the Central Commission for Statistics is established in the Statistics Netherlands Act.

- the obligations of the respondents with respect to the survey According to the Agricultural Act it is compulsory for anyone who receives an agricultural census questionnaire to complete it faithfully and truthfully, to sign it and return it to the proper authority. There are financial incentives to (timely) respond to the survey. After 15 May they are cut backs on financial support, while after 15 June requests for support are denied. Farmers that did not respond received several reminders, and risked being fined. Data collection stopped on 1 September 2016.
- the identification, protection and obligations of survey enumerators Since 2016 it is compulsory to fill in the forms using a web application. Therefore there is no need for enumerators.

Respondents receive a letter by mail, in which they are summoned to participate in the census. In case of lack of clarity or incompleteness of the forms the correspondents are contacted by checking personnel during the processing of the survey forms.

2.2. Classification system

[Not requested]

2.3. Coverage - sector

[Not requested]

2.4. Statistical concepts and definitions
List of abbreviations
AFR: Administrative Farm Register
SFR: Statistical Farm Register
BR: Business Register
RVO: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (Netherlands Enterprise Agency)
UAA: Utilized Agricultural Area
LSU: LiveStock Unit
SO: Standard Output
2.5. Statistical unit
The national definition of the agricultural holding
The definition of holdings in the agricultural census is tuned to the FSS (1), and the activities taken into account are the same as in Annex I of Regulation 1166/2008. As in Regulation 1166/2008 only holdings with NACE 01.1 to 01.5 (with the exception of most of 1.49), and holdings in 01.6 that keep land in good agricultural and environmental conditions, are part of the agricultural census. The agricultural census however does include raising and breeding of fur animals, this activity not being eligible for the EU.

(1) according to Regulation 1166/2008: a single unit, both technically and economically, which has a single management and which undertakes agricultural activities listed in Annex I of the Regulation 1166/2008 within the economic territory of the European Union, either as its primary or secondary activity.

2.6. Statistical population
1. The number of holdings forming the entire universe of agricultural holdings in the country
64 761 holdings were surveyed; 6 261 holdings showed to be ineligible, and for 2 819 the eligibility status was unknown, resulting in 55 681 eligible holdings.

 

2. The national survey coverage: the thresholds applied in the national survey and the geographical coverage
Only agricultural holdings above a certain threshold are taken into account in the census. This threshold is applied to exclude holdings with marginal activities and to minimize processing burden. The threshold applied is 3000 euros SO (extended size calculation), which is compliant with the physical thresholds in the FSS regulation. In the 2016 census (and the FSS) 55 681 holdings are above the threshold. Together these holdings work nearly 1 800 000 ha of agricultural land. The difference between types of farming, specialization, economic size and area is considerable. About 1100 holdings, mainly industrial livestock farms, do not have agricultural land at all. Farming is spread all over the country, but several regions have their own characteristic type of agricultural activities. A number of crops are concentrated in parts of the country or in relatively small areas. For instance bulb cultivation takes place mainly in the coastal sand districts and in the clay districts arable farming is predominant.

 

3. The number of holdings in the national survey coverage
The number of holdings in the nationally covered population is 55 681; this is the same as the coverage of the records sent to Eurostat, and corresponds to holdings above the threshold of 3000 euros SO (Standard Output).

 

4. The survey coverage of the records sent to Eurostat
The coverage of the records sent to Eurostat is equal to the national coverage.

 

5. The number of holdings in the population covered by the records transferred to Eurostat
55 681 holdings are transferred to Eurostat.

 

6. Holdings with standard output equal to zero included in the records sent to Eurostat
There are 100 records with standard output equal to zero sent to Eurostat. These are holdings with (e.g.) only fur animals, or only activities like bulb forcing; these are considered agricultural holdings in the national population.
In FSS 34 holdings are ineligible, these are holdings with only fur animals. The other holdings only have: bulb forcing (39 holdings), Belgian endive cultivation (15 holdings), special mushroom cultivation (like oyster mushrooms, shiitake) (11 holdings), and "other livestock not mentioned elsewhere" (1 holding). There is no SO for these activities, and (besides "other livestock not mentioned elsewhere"), there are no fields/variables in the dataset where the activity can be recorded (bulb forcing and Belgian endive cultivation do not require UAA, and for special mushroom cultivation only the amount of substrate used is known, not the effective growing area).

 

7. Proofs that the requirements stipulated in art. 3.2 the Regulation 1166/2008 are met in the data transmitted to Eurostat
Analyses have shown that the holdings above the economical threshold for the census (3000 euros SO (Standard Output)) account for over 98% of total SO, 98% of agricultural land use and 98% of LSU in the Netherlands.

 

8. Proofs that the requirements stipulated in art. 3.3 the Regulation 1166/2008 are met in the data transmitted to Eurostat
The FSS Regulation contains a list of physical thresholds, which means that several selection criteria would have to be applied. However, there are also some activities for which no threshold is given (e.g. mushrooms, equidaea). In order to also include these activities and to have one single criterion, which is easier to handle, the different physical thresholds are translated into one single criterion: the economic size of the holding (SO-threshold).

The economic size of the holding is determined by an extended size calculation. This uses more detailed SO-coefficients than the FSS (SO-coefficients for all extended crops and livestock characteristics). Extensive analysis, based on the agricultural census of 2009, was carried out to determine the level of the SO-threshold. A threshold of 3000 euros SO proved to be fully compliant with the physical thresholds of the FSS regulation.

Note: Strictly taken holdings with less than 0.7 ha hops (corresponding with 3000 euro SO) will be left out of the survey. However in practice it will rarely occur that holdings only have hops, so in practice (virtually) all holdings with hops will be part of the census. Furthermore hops is very small in NL (only 2 holdings, with 4 ha in total); until 2015 it was not even distinguished as separate crop in the agricultural census.

2.7. Reference area
Location of the holding. The criteria used to determine the NUTS3 region of the holding
The location of the holding corresponds to the main seat of the holding in the BR, which is usually located close to the agricultural activities. The postal code of the main seat of the holding is used to determine the municipality of the holding, which in turn is used to determine the NUTS3 region.
2.8. Coverage - Time
Reference periods/dates of all main groups of characteristics (both included in the EU Regulation 1166/2008 and surveyed only for national purposes)
In general the reference date is 1 April 2016, except for land characteristics (reference date 15 May 2016). The reference period for land characteristics is 12 months; other reference periods refer to 1-3 years preceding the reference date.

Reference date 1 April 2016:
• general characteristics;
• livestock;
• other gainful activities of the holding.

Reference date 15 May 2016:
• land.

Reference period 1 year preceding the reference date  (April 2015 – March 2016):
• labour force;
• irrigation.

Reference period 3 years preceding the reference date (2014, 2015, 2016):
• support for rural development.

2.9. Base period

[Not requested]


3. Statistical processing Top
1. Survey process and timetable
In the work process several stages can be distinguished: determination of the content and format of the questionnaire, development of the web application, training of temporary personnel, data-collection (via the web application), pre-processing (at RVO),  processing and analysis, dissemination and delivery of FSS/SAPM data to Eurostat.

In the following table, the working process phases are placed in time.

 

  Working process phase Period
1. Determination of the content and format of the questionnaire April 2015 – November 2015
2. Development phase August 2015 – March 2016
3. Training phase February 2016 – March 2016
4. Data-collection phase April 2016 – September 2016
5. Pre-processing phase (RVO) April 2016 – January 2017
6. Processing and analysis phase May 2016 – March 2017
7. Dissemination phase September 2016 - April 2017
8. FSS delivery phase May 2017 - October 2017
9. FSS validation phase  October 2017 - (...)

 

1. Determination of the content and format of the questionnaire
A number of organisations active in the agricultural sector in the Netherlands is involved in this process. The data need is inventoried involving a group of experts. This group of experts forms a permanent working group on the census characteristics. The working group meets every year in March or April to discuss the characteristics of the census of the next year. After approval of the list of characteristics, drafts of the questionnaire and explanatory notes are drawn up and validated by the working group. A large number of questions and characteristics are constant over the years. A small number of questions expires, changes or is newly introduced (if properly motivated). In 2016 the additional questions required for the Farm Structure Survey 2016 were added to the list of characteristics.

2. Development phase
Statistics Netherlands and RVO, in cooperation with the expert group, prepare the questionnaire by formulating the questions and the explanatory notes. Since 2006 it is possible to fill in the questionnaire using a web application. The number of respondents using the internet has since rapidly increased, and in 2016 the use of the web application became compulsory. RVO is responsible for building, testing and maintaining the web application. In the web application definitions and explanatory notes are available through information buttons. Controls are, as far as possible, integrated in the web application.

3. Training phase (RVO)
RVO is responsible for the training of the employees. Training is particularly aimed at temporary personnel for the helpdesk and the controlling process. Partly, this training is on forehand and partly it is on the job.

4. Data-collection phase(RVO)
Each holder receives a summon to participate in the census before the starting date of the survey (1 April). Farmers have to fill in the form before 15 May. Farmers that do not respond receive several postal reminders. After 15 May farmers may be fined or may receive less financial aid. The data-collection phase ended 1 September. The electronic forms are stored in the RVO database.

5. Pre-processing phase (RVO)
Many checks are already implemented in the web application. After the respondent submits his form, additional checks are performed by RVO. If necessary the respondent is contacted to check the given answers or to correct errors. During this phase data is regularly sent to Statistics Netherlands for further checking and analysis. By the end of January 2017 the pre-processing phase ended; at that time 95% of the forms were received and processed.

6. Processing and analysing phase
At Statistics Netherlands a more advanced check is performed on for instance internal contradictions and differences with the trends and results of previous years. Calculations are made for composed indicators. The data are rearranged, selected and transformed for dissemination purposes. Since the agricultural census is exhaustive the results are used as a sample base for other statistics such as yield assessments, labour and productivity statistics and environmental statistics.

7. Dissemination Phase
The main publication is the Statline database which is available on the internet (www.cbs.nl). In this database internet-users may select their own indicators and information topics. First results from the 2016 survey were published in September 2016 and the final results in April 2017. Several times a year short publications on specific subjects are presented in the form of newspaper reports or internet-magazine articles.

8. FSS delivery phase
The first phases focus primarily on the national census characteristics. After finalization of the national census characteristics attention shifted to the FSS characteristics. After additional analyses and checks against the FSS validation rules the dataset was delivered to Eurostat.

9. FSS/SAPM validation phase
After the delivery of the FSS dataset the validation process started. In this phase the validation tables were evaluated and the NMR was drawn up.

 

2. The bodies involved and the share of responsibilities among bodies
The census is a joint effort of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, especially its executive service RVO, and Statistics Netherlands. Agreements on the division of tasks are recorded in a contract between the Ministry and Statistics Netherlands, and an agreement on data delivery between RVO and Statistics Netherlands.

Initial preparation of the census, final data processing, analyses and dissemination are performed by Statistics Netherlands. RVO is responsible for maintaining the AFR, summoning the respondents, building and testing of the web application, data collection, initial validation of data and supplementary interviewing of respondents (call-back). Pre-processed data is sent to Statistics Netherlands, where the data are further processed and analysed and statistical results are produced and disseminated.

In both Statistics Netherlands and RVO a permanent team of personnel issues the regular work. At RVO temporarily personnel is hired for the helpdesk and first data-controls.

 

3. Serious deviations from the established timetable (if any)
No deviations.
3.1. Source data
1. Source of data
Each year, the agricultural census is carried out by an exhaustive enumeration of all the agricultural holdings above the threshold of 3000 euros SO. The FSS is fully integrated in the agricultural census. Sampling designs and sampling methods are therefore not in use.

The information of the exhaustive agricultural census provides the basis for sample enumeration of more specific agricultural research, like crop yield predictions. Methods and designs used for those statistics are not discussed in this paper.

 

2. (Sampling) frame
The frame for the agricultural census / FSS is the Administrative Farm Register (AFR). The AFR is a list frame. Every year there are many mutations in the data of the AFR, there can be take-overs of holdings or changes in address, telephone number etc. These mutations are continuously processed to ensure a proper connection of the census data and the AFR. Mutations related to the AFR can directly be reported by the holder. Since 2015 information from the BR is also used to update the AFR.

From 2016 onwards all holdings in the AFR with NACE 01.1 to 01.5 (with the exception of most of 1.49*), and holdings in 01.6 that keep land in good agricultural and environmental conditions are selected for the census/FSS. During processing NACE is checked against the actual BR registration.

*) Holdings in 1.49 include raising and breeding of rabbits and fur animals. Raising and breeding of fur animals is not eligible for FSS; the other eligible activities for FSS under 1.49 are non-significant.

 

3. Sampling design
3.1 The sampling design
Not applicable.
3.2 The stratification variables
Not applicable.
3.3 The full coverage strata
Not applicable.
3.4 The method for the determination of the overall sample size
Not applicable.
3.5 The method for the allocation of the overall sample size
Not applicable.
3.6 Sampling across time
Not applicable.
3.7 The software tool used in the sample selection
Not applicable.
3.8 Other relevant information, if any
Not applicable.

 

4. Use of administrative data sources
4.1 Name, time reference and updating
The administrative sources used are:
1. the Administrative Farm Register(AFR)
The AFR is held by RVO. All agricultural holdings are registered in the AFR. Registration is based on several legal obligations. All holdings falling under the Manure Act have to register with RVO. Also anyone requesting CAP support has to register with RVO. Every holding in the AFR has a unique identification number. The AFR is continuously updated; mutations related to the AFR can directly be reported by the holder. Since 2015 information from the BR is also used to update the AFR.

2. the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS)
IACS is held by RVO. IACS is the control system for direct aid and agri-environmental schemes of the CAP, based on Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009. IACS contains the same identification number as the AFR. The IACS register is continuously updated.  

3. the I&R (animal Identification and Registration) register on bovine animals
The I&R register is held by RVO. The register is based on Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000, which establishes a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals. The I&R register is continuously updated.

4.2 Organisational setting on the use of administrative sources
The Statistics Netherlands Act establishes Statistics Netherlands as executive office for community statistics. It also provides right of access to administrative data.

We did not participate in the conceptual design and subsequent related revisions of the administrative sources. However in the preparation and design of the questionnaire there is close cooperation with (governmental) holders of administrative sources in order to establish whether these meet the requirements (of FSS and agricultural statistics) and can be used (a.o. timeliness). Policy is that only data that cannot be derived from administrative sources can be asked directly.

4.3 The purpose of the use of administrative sources - link to the file
Please find the information in the file at the link: (link available as soon as possible)

 

4.4 Quality assessment of the administrative sources
  Method  Shortcoming detected Measure taken
- coherence of the reporting unit (holding) The definition of the holdings in the administrative sources is equal to the definition in the FSS regulation.  -  
- coherence of definitions of characteristics The definition of characteristics in the administrative sources is equal to that of the FSS.  -  
- coverage:  -    
  over-coverage AFR
Over-coverage is prevented by the use of a unique registration code. Over-coverage will also be detected on handling applications for the single payment scheme. 
   
IACS
Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure that transactions financed are actually carried and implemented correctly. Therefore the risk of over-coverage is minimal.
   
I&R (animal Identification and Registration) register on bovine animals
The register is closely monitored; the risk of over-coverage is minimal.
   
  under-coverage AFR
From time to time the AFR is checked for under-coverage by checking with other registers. From 2015 onwards the AFR is also updated using information from the BR. Under-coverage is supposed to be small, because of the negative financial consequences for the farmers.
   
IACS
Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure that transactions financed are actually carried and implemented correctly. Therefore the risk of under-coverage is minimal.
   
I&R (animal Identification and Registration) register on bovine animals
The register is closely monitored; the risk of under-coverage is minimal.
   
  misclassification The risk of misclassification is minimal. This is established in the preparation of the census.    
  multiple listings AFR
Multiple listings are prevented by the use of a unique registration code for each holding and regular checks on for instance duplication in names, addresses and postal codes.
AFR
Multiple listings cannot be excluded, but is supposed to be very small. Most common reason for possible duplication in the register is partnerships such as between father and son where both partners are registered and both partners receive a census questionnaire. Multiple listings will also be detected on handling applications for the single payment scheme. Clearing up the AFR is usually time-consuming.
AFR
In case of multiple listings, usually one of the questionnaires is not returned or is returned with a note that the doubling should be corrected.

IACS
Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure that transactions financed are actually carried and implemented correctly. Therefore the risk of multiple listings is minimal.
   
I&R (animal Identification and Registration) register on bovine animals
The register is closely monitored; the risk of multiple listings is minimal.
   
- missing data  -    
- errors in data  -    
- processing errors  -    
- comparability  -    
- other (if any)  -    

 

4.5 Management of metadata
Metadata are systematically stored and maintained over time. They are collected in electronic format and archived in a database.
4.6 Reporting units and matching procedures
The definition of the holdings in the administrative sources is equal to the definition in the FSS regulation. Since IACS uses the same identification number as the AFR, data from IACS could directly be linked.
4.7 Difficulties using additional administrative sources not currently used
No difficulties.
3.2. Frequency of data collection
Frequency of data collection
 The Farm Structure Survey is integrated in the agricultural census which is held every year.
3.3. Data collection
1. Data collection modes
Data collection for the 2016 agricultural census / Farm Structure Survey took place through the internet. A letter, summoning the respondents to participate in the census, was sent by RVO in March; a paper form was no longer available.

The electronic form provides a number of online controls and validations, diminishing the need for additional telephone interviewing. Also the respondent receives only relevant questions (for example: questions about livestock only if there are animals on the holding), thus reducing the administrative burden.

During the processing and analysis phase farmers can be contacted by telephone in order to receive missing data or corrections of errors.

For efficiency reasons the questionnaire of the agricultural census nowadays also serves as an application form for the single payment scheme and animal, crop and arable land subsidies in the framework of the European Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), as well as for the enforcement of the minerals regulation (manure). The combined questionnaire and application form is extended with geographical information on the location of the crops (parcel registration).

 

2. Data entry modes
Respondents could access the electronic form by logging in to their own personal portal. After completion of the form and providing an electronic signature, the data was automatically transmitted to RVO. During data-collection and data-control phase pre-processed data of completed enumerations was periodically delivered to Statistics Netherlands.

 

3. Measures taken to increase response rates
It has become government policy that, in order to reduce administrative burden, the same data may only be collected once (‘collect once – use often’). This policy is also applied in the census, by combining data collection for statistical and administrative purposes. The questionnaire combines data collection for the agricultural census / FSS, as well as requests for subsidies (single payment scheme) and enforcement of manure law.

This policy also means that registers and/or administrative data have to be used whenever available and suitable (under the condition of quality and continuity).

The mailing list for the combined data collection is based on the AFR. Much effort is put into taking care that the information in the AFR is up‑to‑date (both  in coverage and actuality). Since 2015 information from the BR is used to update the AFR; also other registers such as municipal register are used. This reduces response burden by preventing that respondents may be approached wrongly or more than once.

During data collection non-respondents receive several reminders, and risk being fined, and since the questionnaire also serves as application form for subsidies there is a strong financial incentive to timely fill in the form (after a certain time there will be cuts in payment).

 

4. Monitoring of response and non-response
1 Number of holdings in the survey frame plus possible (new) holdings added afterwards

In case of a census 1=3+4+5

64 761 
2 Number of holdings in the gross sample plus possible (new) holdings added to the sample

Only for sample survey, in which case 2=3+4+5

Not applicable.
3 Number of ineligible holdings 6 261

these comprise 2 650 holdings below the threshold of 3000 euro SO, and 3 611 holdings with ceased activities

3.1 Number of ineligible holdings with ceased activities

This item is a subset of 3.

3 611
for 2 773 holdings information was received that they had ceased activities; 838 holdings were non-respondent for over 5 years in the annual census, they were considered to have ceased activities (confirmed by further analysis of a subset).
4 Number of holdings with unknown eligibility status

4>4.1+4.2

2 819

this consists of new or changed non-responding holdings, for which there is no information for imputation available (which means that their activities are unknown, and it cannot be determined if they fall below the threshold of 3000 euro SO).

4.1 Number of holdings with unknown eligibility status – re-weighted -
4.2 Number of holdings with unknown eligibility status – imputed -
5 Number of eligible holdings

5=5.1+5.2

55 681
5.1 Number of eligible non-responding holdings

5.1>=5.1.1+5.1.2

 1 162
5.1.1 Number of eligible non-responding holdings – re-weighted -
5.1.2 Number of eligible non-responding holdings – imputed 1 162
5.2 Number of eligible responding holdings 54 519
6 Number of the records in the dataset 

6=5.2+5.1.2+4.2

55 681

 

5. Questionnaire(s) - in annex
The annex contains screen shots of the questionnaire for the agricultural census 2016  ('Gecombineerde opgave 2016’ ).


Annexes:
3.3-5. Questionnaire for agricultural census 2013
3.3-5. Summary form for the total area per crop
3.4. Data validation
Data validation
There are two types of errors: hard errors and soft errors. Hard errors are values that cannot occur in reality. For example the age of the holder is over a certain limit, the total area of the holding differs from the sum of the sub-areas, or there are pigs but no housing for pigs. Soft errors are data that are unlikely but not impossible e.g. the recording of a number of animals that is extremely high, or the amount of labour is not in line with the size of the holding.
Hard errors have to be corrected before processing can continue; soft errors may be accepted (for the time being) but have to be validated during further processing (after additional analysis or check-back). All error checks are described in the functional design of the web application.

Controls at data-entry
All questionnaires were filled in online. The online questionnaire already contains a lot of controls and validations, documented in the ‘functional design’ of the application.

Data validation is performed in two successive stages.

Data control at RVO
After data collection the data goes through an extensive error control phase. In this phase (additional) checks are made on missing values, valid values, unlikely values, range checks, checks of correlation in the data, checks of totals and so on. When necessary additional information is collected from the farmers by phone. Data that is checked and accepted by RVO is forwarded to Statistics Netherlands.

Control at Statistics Netherlands
Data processing by Statistics Netherlands involves further checks for hard and soft errors, and enrichment with additional information, such as total SO and typology. At Statistics Netherlands non-response imputations are performed (see section 6.3.4 Processing error). Further analyses are made at several levels of aggregation and comprise comparison with previous results and agricultural data from other sources.

3.5. Data compilation
Methodology for determination of weights (extrapolation factors)
1. Design weights
Not applicable.
2. Adjustment of weights for non-response
Not applicable.
3. Adjustment of weights to external data sources
Not applicable.
4. Any other applied adjustment of weights
Not applicable.
3.6. Adjustment

[Not requested]


4. Quality management Top
4.1. Quality assurance

[Not requested]

4.2. Quality management - assessment

[Not requested]


5. Relevance Top
5.1. Relevance - User Needs
Main groups of characteristics surveyed only for national purposes 
The list of characteristics for the annual census is determined by a group of experts on agriculture. In ‘FSS-years’ the FSS-characteristics are integrated in the annual census.

The number of characteristics in the census is quite high, and more detailed than needed for FSS. To maintain continuity in the data most of the characteristics are repeated annually, or in a regular scheme. Of course developments in agriculture are reflected in changes in the list of characteristics. The topics that appear every year in the census are:
• land: arable crops, horticultural crops, grasslands, rough grazings, fallow land, natural territory,
• livestock: cattle, pigs, poultry, horses, rabbits, fur animals,
• labour force: holder, family and non-family, regular and non-regular.

For characteristics that do not change very fast, annual data are not necessary. For instance the area of irrigated land, the presence of a successor to the present holder is included in a list with a lower frequency. Major additions of this kind occur in the years when the Farm Structure Survey is held. Additional FSS characteristics are combined with these non-yearly topics if possible.

When preparing the census, there is an almost constant pressure to introduce new items in the questionnaire, thus extending it bit by bit and constituting a threat for the project as such. Meanwhile there is increasing pressure to reduce the administrative burden. New proposals can therefore only be taken into account if provided with proper motivation and legal base. Inclusion of new characteristics has to be accompanied by deleting less relevant characteristics. An impact analyses is part of decision process.

Several FSS characteristics are integrated to meet other EU-requirements and national information needs. Other EU-requirements comprise a.o. crops and livestock statistics; the national information needs are mainly for enforcement of the manure law, provision of subsidies and emission calculations. 

Categories of extended characteristics:
• livestock, mainly for enforcement of the manure law and emission calculations;
• arable crops, mainly for enforcement of the manure law and subsidies;
• horticultural crops, because of the specific economic importance of this agricultural sector in the Netherlands.

5.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

[Not requested]

5.3. Completeness
Non-existent (NE) and non-significant (NS) characteristics - link to the file. Characteristics possibly not collected for other reasons
Please find the information in the file at the link: (link available as soon as possible)
5.3.1. Data completeness - rate

[Not requested]


6. Accuracy and reliability Top
6.1. Accuracy - overall
Main sources of error
The main source of errors is measurement errors due to erroneous data given by the respondents. Other non-sampling errors are expected to be minimal.
Sampling errors do not occur because the FSS is integrated in the agricultural census.
6.2. Sampling error
Method used for estimation of relative standard errors (RSEs)
Not applicable.
6.2.1. Sampling error - indicators

1. Relative standard errors (RSEs) - in annex

  

2. Reasons for possible cases where precision requirements are applicable and estimated RSEs are above the thresholds
 Not applicable.
6.3. Non-sampling error

See below

6.3.1. Coverage error
1. Under-coverage errors
Under-coverage is expected to be low, because of the legal base for registration with RVO, and the possible financial implications by failing to do so. 
Under-coverage errors are mainly related to the AFR and are expected to be minimal. RVO closely monitors and corrects the AFR.

  

2. Over-coverage errors
Over-coverage errors are mainly related to the AFR and are expected to be minimal. RVO closely monitors and corrects the AFR.
2.1 Multiple listings 
Multiple listings are mainly related to the AFR and are expected to be minimal. RVO closely monitors and corrects the AFR. Furthermore duplicates are detected and eliminated during processing of the data, e.g. through identification of duplicate registration in the land parcel identification system (LPIS).

 

3. Misclassification errors
Misclassification errors are mainly related to the AFR and are expected to be minimal. RVO closely monitors and corrects the AFR.

 

4. Contact errors
Contact errors are mainly related to the AFR and are expected to be minimal. RVO closely monitors and corrects the AFR.

 

5. Other relevant information, if any
Not available.
6.3.1.1. Over-coverage - rate
Over-coverage - rate
There were 64 761 holdings in the survey frame, of which 6 261 proved to be ineligible, resulting in an over-coverage rate of 9.7%.
6.3.1.2. Common units - proportion

[Not requested]

6.3.2. Measurement error
Characteristics that caused high measurement errors
Measurement errors are mostly due to erroneous answers given by the respondents. The internet application eliminates interviewer caused errors, and largely reduces erroneous answers by the respondents, because many checks are already implemented in the application. Measurement errors due to difficult or unclear questions or definitions are minimal because a census is held every year, and the questions are kept constant as much as possible and improved if necessary. Survey instrument errors are likely to be minimal, because the internet application in use is already operational for several years. Remaining errors are largely detected at early stage, either by automated control programs, or from plausibility checks during the analysis phase.
6.3.3. Non response error
1. Unit non-response: reasons, analysis and treatment
Unit non-response is very low because of the mandatory nature of the census and the possible financial consequences. In the case of non-response the farmer receives several reminders. If, despite this, response cannot be retrieved directly from the respondent there is usually fairly up-to-date information for estimation/imputation (due to the fact that there is a census every year).  Unit non-response is accounted for by imputation.

Although bias risks associated with non-response are low because of the very high response rate (about 96%), a separate analysis was performed, comparing trends and distribution between the imputed non-response units and the response units.
The analysis showed no difference in trends and distribution between the imputed non-response units and the response units. A final check comes from the evaluation of the census results.

 

2. Item non-response: characteristics, reasons and treatment
Item non-response is in most cases difficult to detect. In the online form item non-response is minimized by built-in controls (e.g. the respondent has to answer certain (blocks of) questions). Item non-response often shows up in the control programs or is detected by controlling personnel, and is corrected for whenever possible.
6.3.3.1. Unit non-response - rate
Unit non-response - rate
Unit non-response rate is 2.1%.
6.3.3.2. Item non-response - rate
Item non-response - rate
Unknown.
6.3.4. Processing error
1. Imputation methods
Unit non-response: The small percentage of units that did not respond was imputed, using their data from the previous year. If no data from the previous year are available the unit is discarded (eligibility status unknown).

There were only a few new characteristics compared to previous year, so almost all characteristics could directly be imputed from previous year. The new characteristics, that constitute a more detailed description of a characteristic from previous year, were calculated using analysis results from corresponding response units. The few other new characteristics were considered not to be present in the non-response unit. 

Note: The information imputed from previous year may also be based on imputation (because the unit did not respond in that year either). However, the use of imputed data is maximized to five years (units not responding for 5 years or more are assumed to have ceased activities and were removed from the population).

 

2. Other sources of processing errors
Processing errors are expected to be minimal because of the high automation level in the different processing stages.

Completeness of online forms is largely enforced by the application. When (possible) errors are detected during the data-control phase at RVO or before finalization of the control phase at Statistics Netherlands, the farm holders are contacted to correct these errors. If errors are detected later on, an impact analysis is made in order to decide whether or not a correction should be made. The way these corrections take place (call-back, imputation, expert estimate) depends on the type and severity of the error.

 

3. Tools used and people/organisations authorised to make corrections
During the pre-processing phase at RVO authorized personal can make corrections in the database with the stored questionnaires. During the final processing and analysis phase corrections can be made by authorized personal at Statistics Netherlands, using the standard tools available.
6.3.4.1. Imputation - rate
Imputation - rate
The number of holdings above the national threshold of 3000 euro was 55 681 (this is also the number of holdings transferred to Eurostat); of these 1 162 were imputed (2%).
6.3.5. Model assumption error

[Not requested]

6.4. Seasonal adjustment

[Not requested]

6.5. Data revision - policy
Data revision - policy
In the revision policy, a distinction is made between provisional and final data. As long as data are provisional, changes can be made available as 'update'. Updates usually take place whenever additional or better information is available. An update does, besides the reason for the update, not require any further information for the user.  As soon as data are final, changes can only be made available as ‘correction’ or ‘revision’. Corrections require additional information for the user (reason for the correction, impact, etcetera).
Revisions take place when there are major changes in data and methodology, mostly with severe impact on time-series. Revisions also require additional information for the user. Mostly recalculations for previous data are made to re-establish comparable time-series.
6.6. Data revision - practice
Data revision - practice
After first publication the data from the annual agricultural census are kept provisional for three months. During this period there are usually no further updates. When data are final corrections are only made if they have severe impact on the published data.
Normally there are only minor differences between provisional and final data; corrections after data are final are rare.
Revision has taken place following the transition from SGM to SO and the new typology in 2010. Recalculations (based on SO 2004) have then been made for the agricultural census back to 2000.
6.6.1. Data revision - average size

[Not requested]


7. Timeliness and punctuality Top
7.1. Timeliness

See below

7.1.1. Time lag - first result
 Time lag - first result

Data collection ended 1 September 2016. The first provisional results were published already by the end of July 2016 (only main crops at country level). The first provisional results of all the regular census subjects at country level, were published by the end of September 2016, and the first complete set of preliminary results (all regular census subjects at country and regional level) were published in November 2016.

7.1.2. Time lag - final result
Time lag - final result

Final results of the 2016 census were published April 2017, 4 months after the last day of the reference year.

7.2. Punctuality

See below

7.2.1. Punctuality - delivery and publication
Punctuality - delivery and publication

Publication of regular census subjects takes place according to a pre-determined release policy. The 2016 census was published according to the release plan.
Publication of FSS specific topics is on an ad hoc basis (on request or in special publications). Until now there have been no publications on FSS2016 specific topics.


8. Coherence and comparability Top
8.1. Comparability - geographical
1. National vs. EU definition of the agricultural holding
There is no difference between the national and EU definition of the holding, except that NL also includes raising and breeding of fur animals among agricultural activities.

 

2.National survey coverage vs. coverage of the records sent to Eurostat
There is no difference in coverage between the national and the Eurostat population.

 

3. National vs. EU characteristics
The characteristics are defined as described in the FSS/SAPM implementing regulation (Commission Regulation 1200/2009). There are only differences in the level of detail because of the use of data for national purposes. For example, while 'flowers under glass' is needed for the FSS, all sorts of flowers under glass have to be specified in the questionnaire.
The Handbook on implementing the FSS 2016 definitions was used for the implementation of the FSS. There are no differences in national and EU concepts.

The number of hours used to calculate Annual Work Unit is 2000.
Note: actual calculation of AWU is based on the average working hours per week, where 40 average working hours per week is considered 1 AWU, which corresponds to about 2000 hours per year.

 

4. Common land
4.1 Current methodology for collecting information on the common land
In the Netherlands there is (virtually) no common land (characteristic is NE).
4.2 Possible problems encountered in relation to the collection of information on common land and possible solutions for future FSS surveys
Not applicable.
4.3 Total area of common land in the reference year
Not applicable.
4.4 Number of agricultural holdings making use of the common land or Number of (especially created) common land holdings in the reference year
Not applicable.

 

5. Differences across regions within the country
No differences.

 

6. Organic farming. Possible differences between national standards and rules for certification of organic products and the ones set out in Council Regulation No.834/2007
No differences.
8.1.1. Asymmetry for mirror flow statistics - coefficient

[Not requested]

8.2. Comparability - over time
1. Possible changes of the definition of the agricultural holding
There have been no changes in the definition of the holding.

 

2. Possible changes in the coverage of holdings for which records are sent to Eurostat
There have been no changes in the coverage of holdings. However in the 2016 census (and therefore FSS) information from the BR was used to determine eligibility of the holdings. As a result there is a relatively sharp decrease in the number of holdings, but not in most of the land and animal characteristics (with the exception of sheep, equidae and other land). Extensive analysis show that coverage using information from the BR still results in > 98% of UAA, LSU and SO.

Explanation:
According to Regulation 1166/2008 the scope of the FSS is determined by the agricultural activities listed in Annex I (i.e. NACE 01.1 – 01.6). Up until 2016 only information from the AFR and the combined data collection could be used to determine if a holding was part of the scope or not. Information in the AFR did not include NACE as such, but was determined from a temporary assessment upon registration of the holdings at RVO, and verified using information from the combined data collection. This however meant that some ineligible holdings (e.g. riding stables or children's farms) could not be uniquely identified. From 2016 onwards additional information from the BR is used, meaning NACE is available and can be used to determine eligibility. As a result, ineligible holdings, that were included in the scope before FSS 2016, could now be distinguished and excluded. These holdings mainly consist of very small farms without a registration in the BR (hobby farmers), riding stables, and organisations in nature preservation, resulting in a decrease of mainly sheep, equidae and other land. The new delineation has virtually no effect on arable land, permanent crops and most of the livestock (except for a large effect on sheep and equidae, and limited effect on goats and cattle).

Note:
The sheep on holdings not in NACE 01.1 – 01.6 are kept mostly for nature preservation (and some hobby farming) and not for meat or milk. 
As 'hobby farmers' are considered: natural persons engaged in agricultural activities, not registered in the BR (which is obligatory when engaged in economic activities), and holdings in the BR (and NACE 01.1 - 01.6), but below the thrreshold of 3000 euro SO.

 

3. Changes of definitions and/or reference time and/or measurements of characteristics
There have been no changes in definitions and/or reference time and/or measurements of characteristics compared to the previous FSS.

 

4. Changes over time in the results as compared to previous FSS, which may be attributed to sampling variability
Not applicable.

 

5. Common land
5.1 Possible changes in the decision or in the methodology to collect common land
In the Netherlands there is and was (virtually) no common land in the current and previous FSS (characteristic is NE).
5.2 Change of the total area of common land and of the number of agricultural holdings making use of the common land / number of common land holdings
Not applicable.

 

6. Major trends on the main characteristics compared with the previous FSS survey
Main characteristic Current FSS survey Previous FSS survey Difference in % Comments
Number of holdings 55 681   67 481 -17%  The last decade there has been an annual decrease in the total number of holdings of 2-3 %. However due to the use of information from the BR to determine eligibility of the holdings (see 8.2-2) there has been a decrease in the number of holdings in the 2016 census of about 13%. This results in a 17% decrease since 2013.
Utilised agricultural area (ha) 1 796 261   1 847 571 -3%   
Arable land (ha) 1 028 169   1 037 864 -1%   
Cereals (ha) 181 103  210 220  -14%  From 2008 onwards there has been a constant decrease in the area cereals (from approx. 240.000 ha in 2008 to about 160.000 ha in 2017 (preliminary figure)).
The decrease between 2013 and 2016 is not exceptional.
Industrial plants (ha) 12 297  11 681  5%   
Plants harvested green (ha) 460 487  445 625  3%   
Fallow land (ha) 7 365   8 185 -10%  Since 2008 the fallow land varies between approx. 7 200 and 8 200 ha. The decrease in FSS 2016 is not exceptional.
Permanent grassland (ha) 729 887   773 094 -6%   
Permanent crops (ha) 38 206   36 613 4%   
Livestock units (LSU) 6 819 962   6 602 053 3%   
Cattle (heads) 4 251 456   3 999 221 6%   
Sheep (heads) 783 906  1 033 566  -24%  The decrease in the FSS 2016 is mainly due to the use of BR information to determine eligibility of the holdings in the census (see 8.2-2).
Goats (heads) 499 556  412 545  21%  There has been a constant increase in the number of goats for over two decades. The increase in FSS 2016 is not exceptional.
Pigs (heads) 12 478 594  12 212 303  2%   
Poultry (heads) 107 344 802  99 427 996  8%   
Family labour force (persons) 118 315   133 315 -11%  The decrease in family labour is in line with the decrease in the number of holdings, which in 2016 is influenced by the use of BR information to determine eligibility of the holdings in the census (see 8.2-2).
Family labour force (AWU) 83 206   88 734 -6%   
Non family labour force regularly employed (persons) 54 344   59 821 -9%   
Non family labour force regularly employed (AWU) 40 330   43 017 -6%   
8.2.1. Length of comparable time series

[Not requested]

8.3. Coherence - cross domain
1. Coherence at micro level with other data collections
Comparing individual data on holdings usually only takes place as a result of the detection of errors or improbabilities in the aggregated data.

 

2. Coherence at macro level with other data collections
Evaluation of results comprises comparison with previous results and trends, and with agricultural data from other sources. Comparisons are made at several levels of aggregation: national, provincial and regional. Other sources are other statistics (i.e. manure and nutrients statistics, land use statistics and agricultural income statistics), administrative data of (CAP) regulations executive offices. The results of the evaluation prove that the agricultural census information is in general highly reliable.

FSS statistics for the Netherlands are coherent with other statistics within the agricultural domain (crops, livestock, ..).
Because of differences in definition of the units this may not be the case over domains.

Note:
We have not made a numeric analysis of the IACS register. This is because we do not use IACS as a separate register and link the information to FSS, but data is collected for FSS, subsidies (IACS), enforcement of manure law and emission registration combined. This means we do not have the IACS register as such, but we use the collected information directly (information that ultimately will also be taken up into the IACS register). From the data we receive from RVO we cannot directly identify the holdings that are part of IACS.

8.4. Coherence - sub annual and annual statistics

[Not requested]

8.5. Coherence - National Accounts

[Not requested]

8.6. Coherence - internal

[Not requested]


9. Accessibility and clarity Top

 

9.1. Dissemination format - News release

[Not requested]

9.2. Dissemination format - Publications
1. The nature of publications
All information is published on-line. Regular results of the census are released through the Statline database, according to a pre-determined release policy. Ad hoc and incidental information is released through articles on the Statistics Netherlands website.
The first results concern the main arable crops only, not yet based on the full response. There is a special need for having provisional data on main crop areas available at that time, because these serve as a basis for first yield estimates. The further provisional results are based on full response.

 

2. Date of issuing (actual or planned)
First results were published in July 2016 (main arable crops only, not yet based on the full response). Further provisional results (based on the full response) were published from September 2016 onwards. Final results were published in April 2017.
First delivery of the full FSS dataset to Eurostat took place in October 2017.

 

3. References for on-line publications
Results of the census are published on 'Statline' (http://statline.cbs.nl) and the Statistics Netherlands website (http://cbs.nl). Through RSS-feeds users can be informed of new content on the website.
Information on the internet is free of charge. Metadata is included in all publications.
9.3. Dissemination format - online database
Dissemination format - online database
In the on-line database 'Statline' (http://statline.cbs.nl/Statweb/?LA=en) users may select their own indicators and information topics. Results are presented on several levels of aggregation (national, provincial, regional and municipal). To prevent disclosure of individual data of holdings, certain characteristics may be hidden.
Besides the regular publications on internet, Statistics Netherlands has an information service desk available (Infoservice). Relatively simple information requests are handled by this desk. Complex requests are answered by specialized personnel for whom cost prices are charged.
9.3.1. Data tables - consultations
Data tables - consultations
see http://statline.cbs.nl (note: the indicative number of hits is based on Q4 2016).

Dutch tables (under 'Landbouwtelling en biologische landbouw'):
- Landbouw; nationaal (crops, livestock and land use at national level), approx. 5000 hits
- Landbouw; regio (crops, livestock and land use by region), approx. 1000 hits
- Landbouw;gemeente (crops, livestock and land use, by municipality), approx. 5000 hits
- Landbouw;bedrijfstype, nationaal (crops, livestock and land use by farmtype at national level), approx. 1500 hits
- Landbouw;hoofdbedrijfstype, regio (crops, livestock and land use, by general farm type and region), approx. 3500 hits
- Landbouw; arbeidskrachten, regio (labour force by region), approx. 500 hits
- Landbouw; klassenindeling,regio (crops, livestock and land use, by size classes and region), approx. 500 hits
- Landbouw; economische omvang (information by economic size classes and farm type), approx. 1000 hits
- Landbouw; economische omvang, regio (information by economic size classes, general farm type and region), approx. 500 hits
- Landbouw; verbreding (other gainful activities by main farm type and region), approx. 500 hits
- Landbouw; biologisch, fase omschakeling (organic farming by stage of conversion), approx. 500 hits
- Landbouw; biologisch, nationaal (organic farming at national level), approx. 1500 hits
- Landbouw; biologisch, regio (organic farming by region), approx. 500 hits

English tables (under agricultural census):
- Agriculture; crops, livestock and land use by general farm type, region, approx. 1500 hits
- Agriculture; labour force by region, approx. 100 hits 

9.4. Dissemination format - microdata access
Dissemination format - microdata access
Confidentiality and security are regulated by the Statistics Netherlands Act as well as the Act on Registration of personal data. To maintain confidentiality, no individual holding data may be disclosed by the published results. This is of particular importance in low-level regional tables and for ‘sensitive’ characteristics (labour force, economic value).

Statistics Netherlands also has several micro-data services for research, see:
https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/customised-services-microdata

services are:

• Customized research, conducted by Statistics Netherlands
https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/customised-services-microdata/customised-research

Statistics Netherlands can carry out research based on the research questions of the applicant. If necessary they can add and link researchers own datasets to statistical data sources available at Statistics Netherlands (including the agricultural census). The results of the study are published on the website of Statistics Netherlands and are thus accessible to everyone. Moreover, most publications appear in print as a research report. This work is carried out for a fixed rate per hour.

• Own research using data from Statistics Netherlands
https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/customised-services-microdata/microdata-conducting-your-own-research

Under certain conditions, Statistics Netherlands makes available micro-data for statistical research. To be authorized to use this data the researcher must work at an organisation authorized by the Central Commission for Statistics (CCS). Research can be conducted on site at our offices in The Hague and Heerlen, or from the researchers' own workplace using a secure internet connection (remote access).

All datasets remain on the dedicated server at Statistics Netherlands. Before statistical results are released, all data is checked for the risk of disclosure. Statistical results (e.g. statistical tables) can be relocated so they can be used outside the secure environment.
Statistics Netherlands requires that all statistical results be published and made available to other interested persons and organisations. Statistics Netherlands publishes an overview of publications based on research based on micro-data from Statistics Netherlands.

• Advice on statistical research, see:
https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/customised-services-microdata/advice-about-statistical-research

Statistics Netherlands can give advice about the set-up and implementation of statistical surveys and methods.

9.5. Dissemination format - other

[Not requested]

9.6. Documentation on methodology
1. Available documentation on methodology
  • Working group "Structure of Agricultural Holdings": Handbook on  FSS definitions 2016 (FSS WG/2015/1/11 revision 1)
  • Working group "Structure of Agricultural Holdings": Eurofarm Manual for Data Suppliers Farm Structure Survey 2016 (Doc. FSS2016/DSM rev. 9)
  • FO eGDI2016: functional design internet application, RVO

 

2. Main scientific references
Not available.
9.7. Quality management - documentation
Quality management - documentation
 The present methodological report for FSS.
9.7.1. Metadata completeness - rate

[Not requested]

9.7.2. Metadata - consultations

[Not requested]


10. Cost and Burden Top
Co-ordination with other surveys: burden on respondents
Questionnaires for crop yield predictions and other agricultural statistics are tuned to the census in order to prevent asking the same question to farmers twice. For the same reason the census questionnaire is combined with the application for the single payment scheme in the context of the CAP.


11. Confidentiality Top

 

11.1. Confidentiality - policy
Confidentiality - policy
The census data are protected by the Act on Registration of personal data and the Statistics Netherlands Act. These Acts protect data on individual private or legal persons against illegal use, such as being published, sold, used or exchanged without permission of the persons involved. RVO as well as Statistics Netherlands and all personnel having access to the data have to comply with these acts. Furthermore Statistics Netherlands is not allowed to use census data for any other purpose than producing the statistics for which the data is meant and is not allowed to publish data in such a way that individuals or data on individuals may be traced.
11.2. Confidentiality - data treatment
Confidentiality - data treatment
A solution could be to apply the rule of dominance, that is to hide the contents of table cells where the data are from few holdings. This is a very complicated operation. Very often a hidden cell value can be recalculated by difference from data in other tables. However once you start to adapt tables by making changes in some cells, you have to continue this in other tables and the hiding operation spreads throughout the table set like an oil spill.
Therefore we have chosen an easier, pragmatic approach: tables with a danger of disclosing individual data are published only at country or province level, or the level of detail is lowered at regional level. Usually tables with sensitive characteristics, e.g. economic size, labour force, sometimes in combination with a second dimension e.g. farm type, are not published at the lower regional levels.

Besides regular publications via  the Statline database, the website or press releases, requests for information can be addressed at our Infoservice. In the case custom-made tables are prepared confidentiality rules are applied whenever needed.

For custom-made tables a distinction is made in information on 'sensitive' and 'non-sensitive' characteristics. Sensitive characteristics are characteristics that could lead to disclosure of individual personal data (age of the farmer, education level, ..) or of economic data on the individual farm (SO). For this type of tables the confidentiality regime is very strict and provisions are made that each cell contains enough cases so that no individual farms or farmers can be identified, otherwise the cell will be kept confidential (and special attention is given to secondary disclosure). For non-sensitive characteristics (e.g. number of animals or crop areas) a less strict regime is used (often these characteristics can be easily observed, or are directly available from farmers own website). In these cases it is accepted that information on individual farms may be derived. In all cases privacy protection has the highest priority, therefore all requests for custom-tables are scrutinized.  


12. Comment Top
1. Possible improvements in the future
Not available.

 

2. Other annexes
See the annex.


Annexes:
12-2. Screenshots internet application


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top