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Provisional results of the 2008 June agricultural census

DescriptionTables and graphs showing the provisional results of the 2008 June Agricultural and Horticultural census
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateSeptember 24, 2008


These provisional estimates indicate that, compared with June 2007:-

  • The total number of cattle fell by 40 thousand, or 2.1 per cent, to 1.858 million
  • The total number of sheep fell by 368 thousand, or 4.9 per cent, to 7.131 million
  • The total number of pigs fell by 30 thousand, or 6.6 per cent, to 426 thousand.
  • The total size of the poultry flock rose by 431 thousand, or 3 per cent, to 14.559 million.
  • There was a decrease in the total number of occupiers, spouses and regular staff working on agricultural holdings of 2,260 or 3.7 per cent to 59,280. There was a small increase in casual and seasonal staff of 230 or 4.1 per cent to 5,840.

  • Cereal areas increased by 44 thousand hectares, or 10.9 per cent to 448 thousand hectares. Total barley increased by 35 thousand hectares or 12.6 per cent and wheat increased by 9 thousand hectares or 8.5 per cent (3).

  • The area of land in set-aside decreased by 40 thousand hectares or 63.3 per cent to 23 thousand hectares (3).

List of Tables


1. The results relate to the annual June Census of agricultural holdings. Census returns are completed by farmers; these results are provisional for a number of reasons which include late returns and outstanding queries not yet resolved etc. The returns provide information on the crops and livestock on the land which is owned or rented on a permanent basis by farmers, and the labour employed.

2. These results cover June 2008 returns for main holdings - i.e. holdings above a certain economic or physical threshold. For the remaining holdings (minor holdings) an estimate is included based on the June 2007 census and previous censuses. A complete analysis of returns for minor holdings is conducted after the final analysis of the returns from the main holdings in October. Final results of the June 2008 Census are due to be published on October 29.

3. Some crop areas on land attracting set-aside entitlements under the Single Farm Payment Scheme in 2008 may not have been reported on the June Agricultural Census. Conversely, the set-aside estimate could include some land used for non-industrial arable, forage and protein crops. This is being investigated further and these estimates are subject to revision when final results are published on 29th October 2008.

4. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff - more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: