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Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 29 January 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how often agricultural censuses are taken; and if he is satisfied that the fullest use is made of the material contained in the returns.

A comprehensive agricultural census is taken each June in respect of all holdings in England and Wales except very small holdings classified as statistically insignificant. Sample inquiries are held regularly each quarter, and further specialist surveys are conducted as necessary.I am satisfied that good use is made of the data collected. They are extensively analysed and most of the analyses are published. The data are an important element in the annual review of the agricultural industry.