Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2012 (final)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 May 2013
Data quality

Period-specific information
This section contains information about data that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section has information that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Survey information

This release contains final results for key livestock, forestry, horticultural and arable crops from the 2012 Agricultural Production Census. These final figures are at the regional level.

The 2012 census was part of the current programme of agricultural production statistics started in 2002. A census was held in 2002 and 2007, with annual sample surveys in 2003–06 and 2008–11.

Responses from farmers and foresters in the 2012 Agricultural Production Census have resulted in an estimated eligible population of 58,100 enterprises.

2012 questionnaire changes (from 2011)

Farm practices – We included questions on the irrigable area of the farm and formal farm nutrient planning documents.

2012 imputation

 Imputation levels for the 2012 Agricultural Production Survey

 % of total estimate imputed

 Ewe hoggets put to ram


 Breeding ewes (2-tooth and over) put to ram


 Total sheep    


 Lambs born to ewe hoggets


 Lambs born to ewes


 Total lambs


 Dairy cows and heifers, in milk or calf


 Total dairy cattle


 Calves born alive to dairy heifers/cows


 Beef cows and heifers in calf (age 1–2 years)


 Beef cows and heifers in calf (aged 2 years and over)


 Total beef cattle


 Calves born alive to beef heifers/cows


 Female deer mated


 Total deer


 Fawns born on the farm


 Area of new forestry plantings (hectares)


 Area of forestry replantings (hectares)


 Exotic timber harvested (hectares)


 Exotic timber harvested (cubic metres)


 Wheat tonnage harvested


 Wheat area harvested (hectares)


 Barley tonnage harvested


 Barley area harvested (hectares)


 Maize grain tonnage harvested


 Maize grain area harvested (hectares)




 Wine grapes










 Fresh/process peas




 Sweet corn






Response rates

The estimated proportion of eligible businesses that responded to the 2012 Agricultural Production Census for this final release was 85 percent. These businesses represent 88 percent of the total estimated value of agricultural operations.

General information

About the estimates

Figures in this release are rounded. All percentages in this release are calculated using unrounded figures. The figures from the agricultural production surveys may differ from those produced from other sources, such as the National Exotic Forestry Description Survey produced by the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Stock Number Survey from Beef and Lamb New Zealand Limited, and Dairy Statistics from Livestock Improvement Corporation Limited. These surveys use different survey frames and designs.

Population frame

The agricultural production surveys include all units identified on Statistics New Zealand's Business Frame as having agricultural activity. The Business Frame is a list of businesses in New Zealand, based on their registration for goods and services tax (GST) with Inland Revenue.

It should be noted that the compulsory registration level for GST is $60,000, so there is a partial and unquantifiable coverage of units below this level.

Survey population

The survey population for the agricultural production surveys is all businesses engaged in 'agricultural production activity' (including livestock, cropping, horticulture, and forestry), or which owned land that was intended for agricultural activity. The survey population includes businesses engaged in agriculture or forestry production as a secondary activity.

Industries in scope

The survey population specifically includes businesses classified to the following ANZSIC06 codes:

  • A01 Agriculture
  • A0301 Forestry (excluding native forestry).

It also includes parts of:

  • L671200 Non-residential property operators
  • M691000 Scientific research services (agriculture-related research that involves land holding (excluding universities))
  • P802300 Combined primary and secondary education (agricultural high school operation)
  • P802400 Special school education (special needs education involving agricultural production activity)
  • P810200 Higher education (agriculture-related research undertaken by universities that involves land holding)
  • R912100 Horse and dog racing administration and track operation
  • R912900 Other horse and dog racing activities (racehorse training and racing stables operations)
  • R892200 Nature reserves and conservation parks operation.

The survey population specifically excludes:

  • A019300 Beekeeping
  • part of A019900 Other livestock farming nec (worm farming, pet breeding, dog breeding, cat breeding, bird breeding (except poultry, game birds, ostriches, and emus))
  • A017100 Poultry meat (except growers who also produce eggs for human consumption).

Population changes

While there is consistency in the frame from which the population is drawn for agricultural production data collections from 2003 to 2011, there are differences for data collections before 2003.

From 1981 to 1991, the population was sourced from an agricultural directory. This was maintained by Statistics NZ by tracing transfers of farming, horticulture, and forestry land.

In 1992, this agriculture directory was merged with Statistics NZ's Business Frame. For the 1992 and 1993 surveys, population units were drawn from the Business Frame by industrial classification.

In the 1994 Agricultural Production Census, for the first time the population was extracted using both the industrial classification and GST registration information.

Between 1994 and 1996, the population was all businesses that were registered for GST and classified to agriculture, sourced from the Business Frame. The 1999 Agricultural Production Survey population was sourced solely from AgriBase (a geospatial database owned and managed by AgriQuality New Zealand Ltd).

The population for the 2000 Horticulture Production Survey was sourced from the Business Frame, supplemented by AgriBase and growers' lists.

For the 2002 Census, the population was sourced from the Business Frame and the Inland Revenue Client Register. These sources were checked against industry lists and AgriBase to ensure all large units were included in the population.

The Business Frame was used for the 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 surveys, the 2007 Census, and the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 surveys. 

Survey content changes

Over the years there have been changes to the core information gathered in agricultural production collections.

Since 1994, these collections have gathered information on livestock and arable farming, horticulture, and forestry with the following exceptions.

  • In 1999, the survey collected information on livestock and arable farming only.
  • In 2000, the survey collected horticulture production information only.
  • In 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010, the surveys collected information on livestock and arable farming, and forestry (horticulture production information was not collected).

Past questionnaire changes

The reference date for forestry production estimates changed to 31 March in the 2005 Agricultural Production Survey. This change was made to allow the forestry section of the survey to align more closely with the National Exotic Forest Description survey run by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For the 2002 Census, and the 2003 and 2004 surveys, the year-ended date was 31 December. For agricultural production collections before the 2002 Agricultural Production Census the year-ended date was 30 June.

Since the 2005 survey, the data relates to fawns born on the farm that were alive at four months. In 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2004, data related to fawns weaned on the farm. In 2002, data related to fawns born on the farm. The change took industry recommendations into account.

Deer figures since the 2004 survey are not directly comparable with 2002 and 2003 figures. Improvements made to the questions about deer in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 surveys have resulted in improved deer number estimates. While it is not possible to quantify the exact extent of the previous undercoverage, Statistics NZ estimates an undercount of about 70,000 deer at 30 June 2002, and 50,000 at 30 June 2003.

Reliability of sample survey estimates

This release contains statistics from the 1994–96, 1999, and 2002–12 agricultural production collections. All results from these collections are subject to non-sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from biases in the patterns of response and non-response, inaccuracies in reporting by respondents, and errors in recording and classifying data. Statistics NZ adopts procedures to detect and minimise these types of errors, but they may still occur and are not easy to quantify.

Sampling error arises from selecting a random sample of businesses and weighting the results, rather than holding a complete enumeration. As the 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003–06, and 2008–11 collections are sample surveys, not censuses, the results from these collections are also subject to sampling error. 


Values are imputed for farmers and foresters who do not return a completed questionnaire. Imputation involves replacing missing items with values based on other information available.

The method of imputation used is random 'hot deck' imputation.

A proportion of non-respondents are estimated as ineligible for imputation. The remaining non-respondents are grouped into imputation cells based on regional council area, ANZSIC06 group, and previous years' production data. Each non-respondent is then randomly assigned to a respondent in the same imputation cell, and the farm production data of the respondent is copied across to the non-respondent.

To improve the imputation process, respondents with uncharacteristically high levels of agricultural activity are removed from their respective imputation cells. It is unlikely that any of the non-respondents would have similar characteristics to them.


Data collected and information contained in this release must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Published information must maintain the confidentiality of individual respondents. Figures in the tables affected by these provisions are denoted by 'C'.

Quality suppression

Data with high sample errors or imputation levels are suppressed and are indicated by 'S' in the table.

More information

See more information about the Agricultural Production Survey.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delay.

Crown copyright©

Creative Commons logo.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. You are free to copy, distribute, and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to Statistics NZ and abide by the other licence terms. Please note you may not use any departmental or governmental emblem, logo, or coat of arms in any way that infringes any provision of the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981. Use the wording 'Statistics New Zealand' in your attribution, not the Statistics NZ logo.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+