Defra Farm Practice Survey (2005-2015)

Annual government survey looking at how English farming practices are affected by current agricultural and environmental issues. The content of the survey is agreed each year in consultation with users to ensure the information collected remains relevant. Where there is demand the survey is run more frequently and topics are repeated allowing time series data to be built up and enabling comparisons to be made across different years.

The survey is sent out to between 3,000 and 6,000 holdings depending on the year, typical response rate ranges from 37% in 2013 to 65% in 2010. These holdings were targeted by farm type and size to ensure a representative sample. For holdings to be included in the main sample they have to have at least 50 cattle, 100 sheep, 100 pigs, 1,000 poultry or 20 hectares of arable crops or orchards. 5 hectares of soft fruits or 10 hectares of hardy nursery stock, bulbs or flowers. Therefore, all results given reflect only the c 60 to 70 thousand holdings that exceed these thresholds out of the total English population (Ranging from 190,000 holdings in 2005 to 103 thousand commercial holdings in 2015).

The 2010 survey was part of the 10 year census of agriculture and was sent to 16,500 holdings. This survey had different thresholds meaning results given reflect a larger group of holdings (120,000). The thresholds for the 2010 survey were classified as any holdings with more than five hectares of agricultural land, one hectare of orchards, 0.5 hectares of vegetables or 0.1 hectares of protected crops, or more than 10 cows, 50 pigs, 20 sheep, 20 goats or 1,000 poultry.

The supplementary document provided with this metadata record lists the topics which have been covered within each survey, including a brief synopsis of the information provided.

Publication date: 2005-07-29


Study area
Temporal extent
2005-01-01    to    2005-07-29


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Environment , Farming , Society
Agricultural Practices National