Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Census lightening paper burden

 Statistics Canada is eliminating a number of questions it has been asking farmers and is turning to satellites to measure crops and even solar panels.

There will be no questions about seeding intentions when the next census is done in 2026.

The agency said “we are using administrative data and machine learning algorithms. This alternative method of producing reliable data on seeding intentions will result in one less survey for farmers to complete.”

StatsCan will continue to publish data on crops, livestock and adoption of new technology.

“By replacing time consuming surveys with administrative data, satellite technology and advanced modelling techniques, we are providing the same great data that farmers and Canadians rely on,” StatsCan said.

StatsCan has used satellite imagery, weather data and crop insurance data for its Field Crop Reporting Series for six years, the basis for its crop production estimates.

Its July and September field crop reports, no longer use farmer surveys to generate the estimates.

“Starting in 2018, we have been using experimental high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced modelling techniques to automatically identify solar panels, mainly on farms, to estimate total solar output,” StatsCan said.