These results cover the physical quantities of inputs used on farm as well as the extent of farming practices such as use of contractors, minimal tillage and ploughing of grassland.
Source agency: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Designation: National Statistics
Alternative title: Energy Use on Farms; Results from the Farm Business Survey
Farm Energy Use: Results from the Farm Business Survey: England 2011/12
A statistical release covering farm energy use was published on 15/08/2013. This workbook contains comprehensive data tables, including some not shown in the statistical release.
Survey content and methodology
The Farm Business Survey (FBS) is an annual survey providing information on the financial position and physical and economic performance of farm businesses in England. The sample of around 1,900 farm businesses covers all regions of England and all types of farming with the data being collected by face to face interview with the farmer. To be eligible for the FBS, farm businesses must have a standard output of at least 25 thousand Euros.
In 2011/12 a sub-sample of around 200 farms in the FBS took part in an additional module to collect information on energy use. The survey was designed to collect data for greenhouse gas calculations which will be reported on in late 2013. Specific farm types were selected with a focus on those types which tend to have very dominant enterprises. For this reason, horticulture, general cropping and mixed farm types were not surveyed. It was also critical that full financial data was available for all responses, so the sample was restricted to those that completed that part of the FBS, although these represent over 90% of the full FBS sample. The sample for cereals, dairy and grazing livestock farms was stratified into three strata, based on Standard Output. This was not done for pigs and poultry farms. The size breakdown of responses is close to the FBS population breakdown for some farm types but not for others.
Full details of the characteristic of responding farms can be found at Appendix A.
Fuel volumes were converted into energy values (GJ) using factors extracted from the European Reference Life Cycle Database (ELCD) by Cranfield University. These factors use a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) perspective which include energy used in the extraction, refinement and delivery of fuels, on top of the calorific value of the fuel itself.
For further information about the Farm Business Survey please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs/series/farm-business-survey
The omission of some farm types from this survey means that the results are not representative of the farming industry as a whole and no results are reported on this basis. Due largely to the low number of observations, no attempt has been made to weight up results. As such, results in this release should not be regarded as representative of the FBS population. Extreme care should be taken when drawing conclusions from this release.
Accuracy and reliability of the results
We show 95% confidence intervals against the results. These show the range of values that may apply to the figures. They mean that we are 95% confident that this range contains the true value. They are calculated as the standard errors (se) multiplied by 1.96 to give the 95% confidence interval (95% CI). The standard errors only give an indication of the sampling error. They do not reflect any other sources of survey errors, such as non-response bias. Confidence intervals have been adjusted to take into account the size of the total population from which they were sampled.
We have also shown error bars on the figures in this notice. These error bars represent the 95% confidence intervals (as defined above).
For the FBS, where figures are based on less than 5 observations these have been suppressed to prevent disclosure and where they are based on less than 15 observations these have been highlighted in the tables.
Availability of results
An in depth report based on the same data as this release is expected to be published in late 2013. This report will attempt to capture all areas of on farm energy consumption including areas such as purchased animal feed and fertiliser. The report will also focus on emissions from energy and consider the relationship between financial and environmental performance.
The data collected in this survey is not part of the core Farm Business Survey and is therefore not collected on an annual basis. No further collections of energy data as part of the Farm Business Survey are currently scheduled.
Defra statistical notices can be viewed on the Food and Farming Statistics pages on the Defra website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs/about/statistics. This site also shows details of future publications, with pre-announced dates.