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Glossary:Survey on agricultural production methods (SAPM)

The Survey on agricultural production methods, abbreviated as SAPM, is a once-only survey carried out in 2010 to collect data at farm level on agri-environmental measures. European Union (EU) Member States could choose whether to carry out the SAPM as a sample survey or as a census survey. Data were collected on tillage methods, soil conservation, landscape features, animal grazing, animal housing, manure application, manure storage and treatment facilities and irrigation. With reference to irrigation, Member States were asked to provide estimation (possibly by means of models) of the volume of water used for irrigation on the agricultural holding. Detailed information on the set up of the survey and the characteristics surveyed can be found in the background article on the Survey on agricultural production methods.

Bulgaria, Czechia, Romania, Montenegro, Estonia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Slovakia carried the SAPM out as a census survey, while Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland and Croatia carried the SAPM out as a sample survey. Sample sizes varied from ca 3% to one-third of agricultural holdings. Though sample sizes may vary accross countries the level of precision is guaranteed for certain characteristics surveyed by the precision requirements laid down in Annex IV of Regulation 1166/2008.

The Member States collected information from individual agricultural holdings and, observing rules of confidentiality, data were transmitted to Eurostat. The results of the SAPM are linked at the level of individual agricultural holdings to the data obtained from the Farm structure survey (FSS) in 2010. The survey data can then be aggregated by different geographic levels (Member States, regions, and for basic surveys also district level). The data can also be arranged by size class, area status, legal status of the holding, objective zone and farm type.

The basic unit underlying the SAPM is the agricultural holding: a technical-economic unit, under single management, engaged in agricultural production. The SAPM covers all agricultural holdings with a utilised agricultural area (UAA) of at least one hectare (ha) and also those holdings with a UAA of less than 1 ha where their market production exceeds certain natural thresholds. The legal basis for the SAPM is Regulation 1166/2008 of 19 November 2008 on farm structure surveys and the Survey on agricultural production methods, which repealed Council Regulation 571/88.

Further information

  • Regulation (EU) No 1091/2018 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on integrated farm statistics and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1166/2008 and (EU) No 1337/2011 (Text with EEA relevance.)
  • Regulation 1200/2009 of 30 November 2009 implementing Regulation 1166/2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics (legal text)
  • Survey on agricultural production methods (background article)

Related concepts

Statistical data