National Farm Survey (NFS)

Detailed information for 1995





Record number:


This survey produced annual data on the agricultural sector. It was discontinued in 1995.

Data release - -


This survey produced annual data on the agricultural sector. It was based on a sample of farming operations. The information collected covers farms, operating arrangements, land use, tenure and size, livestock and poultry, field crops, operating expenses, farm capital, and farm income and cash receipts.


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Farm financial statistics

Data sources and methodology


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

This survey targets all farming operations in Canadian provinces with sales of farm products of $250 or more ($2,500 in Newfoundland) in the twelve months preceeding the survey. (It excludes institutional farms and farms on Indian reserves and settlements.) The methodology for sample selection and data collection varies depending on region. The Canadian Wheat Board area (Prairie Provinces and the Peace River District in British Columbia) uses two list frames and one area frame. The list frames contain: (1) relatively large census farms vis-a-vis crop, livestock and expenses criteria; and (2) census farms with more than twenty acres which are not in list one but which complement it. The area frame contains all agricultural enumeration areas (before the 1988 National Farm Survey, marginal areas were excluded). The Quebec and Ontario region uses one list frame, made up of census farms, and one area frame, made up of agricultural enumeration areas (before the 1988 National Farm Survey, marginal areas were excluded). Only one frame, a list of census farms, is used in the Maritime Provinces and the rest of British Columbia. In Newfoundland there is complete enumeration of census farms. With the exception of Newfoundland, each of the above frames is stratified within subprovincial areas on the basis of crop, livestock and expense characteristics. Samples are drawn from the various frames for the different regions using circular systematic sampling. In the Canadian Wheat Board area and in the Quebec and Ontario region, data collection procedures consist of two phases. In all cases, data collection is carried out using one or more of the following methods: telephone; mail-out with interviewer pick-up; personal interview; mail-out with telephone interview.

Error detection

Tabulations from first and second contacts are revised with final tabulations.


Imputations are made to deal with partial non-response and inconsistencies. Some of these imputations are deterministic. The others are made using the nearest-neighbour "hot-deck" method. Raising factor adjustment is used to account for total non-response (i.e. no contact or total refusal). Level and trend estimates are obtained by weighting the sampling units - that is, individual farms for the list sample and segments for the area sample - using the inverse of their probability of selection. For the segments, there are a few steps before the weighting. In effect, when a farm in a segment is enumerated, its total non-woodland area and its total non-woodland area within the segment boundaries are determined. Then the proportion of the farm that is in the segment is calculated and this figure is applied to all the data collected for the entire farm. In this way, the part of a farm's acreage, livestock inventories, and expenses that can be attributed to the segment is estimated. Finally, a figure for the total acreage, livestock inventories, and expenses of a given segment is obtained by following these procedures for all the farms involved in this segment and by adding the figures. It is this total that is weighted.


For the provincial estimates of the main variables, coefficients of variation generally lower than 5% are recorded. For the less important variables, the coefficients of variation are between 5% and 30%, depending on the frequency and availability of the corresponding responses.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that 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.

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