Fruits and Vegetables Survey

Detailed information for Fall 2006

Status:

Active

Frequency:

2 times per year

Record number:

3407

The purpose of this survey is to collect information on the area of fruits and vegetables grown in Canada.

Data release - February 9, 2007

Description

This survey collects data to provide estimates of the total cultivated area, harvested area, total production, marketed production and farm net value of selected fruits and vegetables grown in Canada. The data are used by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, other federal departments, provincial organizations and related industries for production and price analysis, and for development of agricultural policies and programs.

Reference period: Spring survey, May to June and Fall survey, May to October

Collection period: Spring survey from April to May - Fall survey from November to December

Subjects

  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Crops and horticulture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all farms in the ten provinces of Canada that grow fruit and/or vegetables for sale.

The survey frame excludes farms producing only mushrooms, farms producing only greenhouse vegetables, and farms producing only potatoes, as well as farms that are on Indian reserves, community pastures and Hutterite colonies.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was developed by subject matter specialists through consultation with the provinces and industry experts. New questions are not pre-tested in the field. However, testing is conducted in-house for flow and consistency. Questions will be changed, added or removed as the need arises. Required changes are usually identified through such means as subject matter specialist research, changes in market trends and field staff debriefing reports.

Sampling

This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

In the spring of each year a 100% sample, or census, of all known fruit and vegetable farms is conducted. Subsequently, in the fall of each year, a census is taken of all farms producing only fruit, all farms producing fruit and vegetables, and all farms producing only vegetables having at least two acres of vegetables. Farms with less than two acres of vegetables under cultivation are excluded in order to reduce response burden. Imputation is used to generate fall data for the less than two acre vegetable farms. For the purpose of sample selection, the survey frame is stratified by province and, within each province, by land area. The farms are homogeneously grouped according to fruit and vegetable cultivated area in each province. The frame is refreshed every five years with the results emanating from the Census of agriculture and is maintained in the interim through a process of list collection and verification.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The data are collected by telephone interview in Statistics Canada regional offices, using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) application.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

There are edits built into the data capture application to compare the entered yield and price data against provincial averages, as well as to check for possible inconsistencies. Whenever an edit fails, the interviewers are prompted to correct the information (with the help of the respondents when necessary). For most edit failures the interviewers have the ability to override the edit failure if they cannot resolve the apparent discrepancy.

Once the data are received back at head office an extensive series of processing steps are undertaken to thoroughly verify each record received. All data failing these edits are subject to manual inspection and possible corrective action.

Imputation

For the Fall Survey of Fruit and Vegetables, imputation is used to adjust for incomplete survey answers to the questions of production and farm gate value. The imputation uses a trend analysis of the completed questionnaires to generate averages to be used to impute for the missing values. Data from previous years is available for manual imputation.

Estimation

Estimation on the value of fruit and vegetables produced each year is computed through surveys across regions and Canada.

The survey data collected are weighted within each stratum in order to produce an estimate which is representative of the population. Weighted historical information is used to take into account small farms being excluded from sampling. Analysis of the most significant contributors and historical comparisons are made, and estimates are reviewed by a panel of provincial department of agriculture consultants.

Quality evaluation

Disseminated data are subject to a certain degree of error such as incorrect information from respondents or mistakes introduced during processing. Reasonable efforts are made to ensure such errors are kept within acceptable limits through careful questionnaire design, editing of data for inconsistencies and subsequent follow-up and quality control of manual processing operations. Extensive consultation with provincial agricultural experts combined with data from various marketing boards assists in the verification of the level estimates obtained through the survey.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Sampling error can be measured by the standard error (or standard deviation) of the estimate. The coefficient of variation (CV) is the estimated standard error percentage of the survey estimate. Estimates with smaller CVs are more reliable than estimates with larger CVs.

For the 2006 survey, CV's at the Canada level range from 1.5% to 26.1%. We obtained CV's around 10.0% at the province level. Less commonly reported variables are associated with higher, but still acceptable CV's, usually under 20%. Coefficient of variation values for the published data are available upon request and are not included in this publication due to space limitations.

Documentation

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