The total number of farms in the province increased since the last Census of Agriculture
By Diego Flammini
Alberta had more farms in 2021 than it did in 2016, the 2021 Census of Agriculture indicates.
The 2021 census recorded 41,505 farms in Alberta compared to 40,638 in 2016.
This represents an increase of about 2.9 per cent.
Of the total number of farms, 13,942 are oilseed and grain farms.
For the 2021 census and beyond, Stats Canada is using a new definition of “farm.”
Going forward, a “farm” is any operation that will be reporting revenues or expenses to the Canadian Revenue Agency.
And while the total number of farms has increased, the number of acres farmed in Alberta has gone in the opposite direction.
Farmers raised food on 49,157,232 acres (25,650,672 acres dedicated to crops) in 2021.
This is down 1,092,951 acres from 2016 when Alberta farmers worked on 50,250,183 acres of land.
To put that decrease into context, the entire area of French Polynesia is about 1,029,688 million acres.
The drop in total acres farmed also means the average Alberta farm size has also dropped.
In 2016 an average Alberta farm spanned 1,237 acres. That number is now 1,184 acres, the 2021 census says.
Here are some other Alberta ag highlights from the 2021 Census of Agriculture:
- When it comes to succession plans, 5,800 farms reported having one written while 25,332 farms indicated no succession plan in place.
- Alberta had four soybean farms in 2016 and reported none in 2021.
- The number of corn farms increased from 25 to 43 between 2016 and 2021.
- The number of tobacco farms in Alberta went from 0 in 2016 to 3 in 2021.
Statistics Canada will release more detailed provincial and territorial profiles in June.