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Complete census on time, farmers urged

By Alan Beresford

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FARMERS across the north-east are being urged to complete the 2020 Agricultural Census before the extended deadline of Friday, July 31.

Farmers can access and complete the form online or request to be contacted by a member of the census team by telephone. Over the coming weeks, some farmers may also be contacted directly to discuss providing data.

Encouraging local farmers to ensure they complete the census, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said: "This year the survey is voluntary to help ease pressures on farmers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“However, the importance of having access to first-hand information from farmers about their business and the agriculture sector in general is vital to help shape government policy and I would encourage all farmers to take part.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing added: “It is now more important than ever that we have an accurate picture of developments in the agricultural sector so that we can assess the impact of coronavirus and develop the right policies to support our farming communities.

“The Agricultural Census data underpins research work in the agricultural sector and is widely used by industry bodies as evidence of how the industry is performing.

“This year the census is voluntary but I urge every farmer in Scotland to take the time to complete the survey either online or on the telephone.”

The Agricultural Census collects information about land use, livestock numbers and labour.

Farmers with a Rural Payments and Services (RP&S) account should check their emails and follow the guidance provided to access the census online. Alternatively, they can start the survey by going directly to the RP&S website and logging in using their username and password for the RP&S site, then click on ‘Ag Census’.

Those who do not have an RP&S account, or who cannot access their form online, can still provide their census information by phoning the census operations team on 0300 244 9788 or by emailing agricsurveys@gov.scot and providing their location number.

One of the team will respond and help them provide their data.

More news here.

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