The number of farms in Canada decreased by almost 2 per cent since 2016
By Diego Flammini
Data is now available to identify how the Canadian ag sector has changed over the last five years.
Stats Canada released the first set of information from the 2021 Census of Agriculture on Wednesday.
The survey, completed every five years, “provides a comprehensive and integrated profile of the physical, economic, social and environmental aspects of Canada’s agriculture industry,” Stats Canada’s website says.
Here are some of the national highlights:
The 2021 census counted 189,874 total farms in Canada compared to 193,492 in 2016.
This represents a decline of 1.9 per cent.
The decline is “a result of industry consolidation and (the) aging of farm operators,” Stats Canada says.
In terms of the average age of a Canadian farmer, it is increasing.
Canadian farmers are averaging 56-years-old, the 2021 census data says. This is up from 55-years-old in the 2016 survey.
The number of Canadian farms reporting a succession plan has increased.
In 2016, only 8.4 per cent of farms identified as having a succession plan. In the 2021 census that number has risen to 12 per cent.
Canadian farmers are also farming on less land than they were in 2016.
Farmers are producing food on 153,687,771 acres, the 2021 census says. That figure is down 3.2 per cent from 158.7 million acres recorded in the 2016 census.
Stats Canada will release more Census of Agriculture data over the coming months.