Fruits and Vegetables Survey

Detailed information for Spring 2010




2 times per year

Record number:


This survey collects data to provide estimates of the total cultivated area, harvested area, total production, marketed production and farm gate value of selected fruits and vegetables grown in Canada.

Data release - June 30, 2010


This survey collects data to provide estimates of the total cultivated area, harvested area, total production, marketed production and farm gate 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


  • 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 Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are excluded from the survey.

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. Small operations with less than one acre of fruit and less than one acre of vegetables are also excluded.

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.


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

Observations on the Spring 2010 survey frame have been extracted from two last Spring survey occasions and the 2006 Census of Agriculture, to which have been added some operations coming from external sources and operations which have been identified by other surveys as growing fruit or vegetables. Ultimately, around 19,000 operations were on the Spring 2010 survey frame.

For each province, three strata were defined based on the type of operation i.e. fruit-only operations, vegetable-only operations or fruit and vegetable operations. In each stratum, a threshold based on the total fruit acreage and on the total vegetable acreage was defined. A random sample was selected among the operations below the threshold and a census was taken of all operations above the threshold. The threshold was one of 2 acres, 5 acres or 10 acres, depending on the province. For each stratum, the minimum sample size was 10 and the maximum design weight was 2.

Overall, the sample size was determined in order to achieve a target CV of 0.01 (1%) for total fruit area and total vegetable area at the provincial level. The final sample size for this survey was 14,898 operations.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2010-04-06 to 2010-04-25

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 was used to adjust for incomplete survey responses to the question of fruit and vegetable area. The imputation used a trend analysis of the completed questionnaires to generate averages to be used to impute the missing values.


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

The estimates from the 2010 Spring Fruit and Vegetable survey are based on a probability sample of farming operations. The potential error introduced by sampling can be estimated from the sample itself by using a statistical measure, called the coefficient of variation (CV).

Over repeated surveys, 95 times out of 100, the relative difference between a sample estimate and the value that would have been obtained from an enumeration of all farming operations would be less than twice the coefficient of variation. For the 2010 survey, CVs at the Canada level range from 1.0% to 24.9%. At the provincial level, the median CV among the published data is 12.0%.

Coefficient of variation values for the published data are available upon request and are not included in the publication due to space limitations.

Information was received from 92.2% of the sample sent to collection.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: