Friday, November 23, 2018

Agriculture Census Restricted Microdata

I have a researcher who is wondering if it is possible to get access to restricted data from the AgCensus e.g, restricted-level geographies below CCS right to individual responses, likely through something akin to an RDC.  Is there a means to do this, or is the researcher dependent on custom tabulations?  I know that RDC’s don’t have AgCensus data, but I don’t know if there is another mechanism for this specialized product.

Answer from Subject Matter:
Subject matter has responded letting us know that the only option they would be able to provide would be in the way of a custom tab. They would need more information in order to give you a quote so please let me know if this is something your researcher would be interested in pursuing, otherwise the RDC’s might be the next best option.

Answer from DLI Members:
I see that the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) has access to a microdata file called “Census of Agriculture Longitudinal File”:

Census of Agriculture Longitudinal File

  • Nature: Longitudinal administrative database of farms.
  • Usage: The database can be used to analyze the changes that occur on farms over time.
  • Content: Unlike the traditional Census of Agriculture data set, which only covers a single year, the linked file connects multiple censuses (1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011). Variables of interest include farm type, farm size, inputs, technology, products as well as economic indicators.
  • Coverage period: 1986 to 2011.
  • For more documentation on each of the databases, or documentation on other databases, please contact CDER at

CDER operates on a cost-recovery basis. Projects must be approved, and access to the files is only available on-site in Ottawa.

The CDER is the repository for business and economic microdata files. The microdata that it provides are detailed enough for complex analyses. For business microdata files, the CDER ensures to maintain the confidentiality of the business respondents.

Answer from Subject Matter:
I find the Annual Crop Inventory to be really valuable since it’s a spatial product available over somewhat of a time series  (interesting accompaniment to the Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) which is pretty dated at this point).