Across Canada, farmers, ranchers, and industry look to Statistics Canada to provide information on what is happening in the industry.
Whether it is acre intentions, production reports, or export volumes, Stats Can provides another layer of market information to inform decisions being made up and down the agricultural value chain. This is not only the case in agriculture, but for other sectors, as well.
With the concern over COVID-19 rising, the ability for Stats Can to collect, analyze, and report information may be jeopardized. Many Stats Can staff are now working at home due to social distancing measures in Ottawa and across Canada, which creates challenges working with sensitive statistical data and government IT infrastructure.
Via email to RealAgriculture, Augustine Akuoko-Asibey, Acting Director – Agriculture Division, Economic Statistics Field says:
The extraordinary event has affected Statistics Canada’s data collection operations, as such only “essential” and “mission critical” programs will be provided with data collection services. The Census of Agriculture program is the only Agricultural Statistics program designated as “mission critical” to ensure work continues to be able to implement and deliver the 2021 Census of Agriculture.
All data collection for the other survey programs have been suspended until further notice.
Although data collection calls to farmers are on hiatus until further notice, they are still able to submit information electronically. Stats Can will be focusing on 21 mission critical programs across all industries and putting other reports on hold in the meantime.
In terms of the delivery of certain agriculture related reports, Akuoko-Asibey says to follow its website for the latest:
Given the extraordinary situation that we are in, some delays will be expected for some reports, however, any delays will be communicated to Canadians on our website.
The list of March reports that will be delayed as provided to RealAgriculture are:
- Oilseed crushing statistic (Originally Planned for March 25th)
- Milled Wheat and Wheat Flour Produced (Originally Planned for March 25th)
- Deliveries of Major Grains (Originally Planned for March 25th)
- Dairy Statistics (Originally Planned for March 26th)
- Poultry and Egg Statistics (Originally Planned for March 27th)
- Farm Operating Revenues and Expenses – RY2018, revised (Originally Planned for March 27th)
In terms of U.S. based reports, Betsy Jibben, National reporter of AgDay and US Farm Report tweeted, “Talked with the Public Affairs office for @usda_nass Representative said, “At this time, all NASS reports are on as scheduled.”