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Agricultural Postcodes Matching Analysis Contract - DO0115

Defra wish to commission RBR to undertake a postcode matching exercise to produce an anonymous data set which links FBS data and other data held on ESS participation and compliance and NVZ compliance data to facilitate academic research led by the University of Manchester. The outcome of the research will be to establish the effect / link / impact of ESS and NVZ data on farm productivity / performance. RBR and Defra are in agreement with the need to retain the strict data confidentiality and to not provide a data set where individual FBS farms are identifiable from the new data set created. Geographic markers remain an important explanatory variable in the analysis. Farmer agreement to allow their FBS data to be used in this way is required. After discussion between Defra and RBR, the research is proposed to be undertaken on circa 1300 FBS farms for England which will provide a panel data set from 2006/07 to 2009/10 inclusive of FBS farms that have been retained in the research programme over these years.
1) Defra to identify the circa 1300 FBS farms which will form the basis of the panel and supply these farm numbers to RBR
2) Defra to supply ESS, NVZ and Postcode (Pc) data, along with other identifiers (farm size, SPS payment for 2009/10, total ES type scheme payments) for individual farms, from their FBS-independent data sets, to RBR; ideally as one data-set, but no more than two data sets (ESS / NVZ)
3) RBR to establish the Pc for each of the FBS farms (from the 1300 in 1)
4) RBR to search for relevant Pc from the ESS/NVZ data set in 2) to allow a link between the data sets in 2) and 3) to be created. This will necessarily involve checking farm size / SPS data where postcode matches exist for duplicate holdings, or where an FBS Pc cannot be easily located with the Pc supplied in 2) [note that a range of issues exist in this space – see* below]
5) Alongside of data matching exercise, RBR will write to the 1300 FBS co-operators with a letter informing them of the background to the research and an “opt-out” slip for return to the RBR Unit in the event that they do not wish their FBS data to be used in this way; in the event of an opt-out return the relevant Research Officer (RO) to write to the FBS Co-operator to thank them for considering the request and re-establish the value of their co-operation with the FBS
6) RBR to combine data sets from 2) and 4) which will create a data-set of FBS farm number, Pc, ESS and NVZ data. This highly confidential data set will remain the property of RBR and will be securely held electronically
7) Using the data set in 6) RBR will remove the Pc from the data set and return a data set which contains the ESS and NVZ data supplied in 2) alongside the FBS farm number for the 1300 farms identified in 1) minus any FBS co-operators who opt out from 5). Because this data set will not include Pc data (to retain confidentiality) it is suggested that the researchers utilise other geo-indicators held within the FBS data set itself (e.g. County / UA / Metropolitan Area, Grid Reference, River Basin Catchment, Joint Character Area) from Section A of the FBS return.
*The Pc matching exercise will be relatively straightforward on many FBS co-operating units, however the following complications are known to exist at the outset: i) Pc of “farmer” / “farm” may not match between two data sets, e.g. in parts of the Fens where farmers live in isolation from their farm buildings, ii) horticultural units renting in glasshouses from a large complex with one Pc – there will be examples of more than one farm/holding with the same Pc, iii) in areas with relatively small farms, more than one farm will hold the same Pc (e.g. village locations, neighbouring farms ), iv) large areas of land being farmed where the Pc is not known exactly.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2012

Cost: £12,850
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Nottingham