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Decline in Number of Canadian Farms Slows

The number of Canadian farms is continuing to decline as the industry consolidates and producers age. But the pace of that decline is slowing. 

In its first release of data from the 2021 Census of Agriculture on Wednesday, Statistics Canada pegged the total number of farms in the country at 189,874, down a relatively modest 1.9% from the previous Census of Agriculture in 2016. The trend toward fewer farms has been ongoing for decades, but this past year’s decline was nonetheless the smallest in a quarter century. 

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of Canadian farms fell 5.9%, and dropped 10.3% in the previous census period from 2006 to 2011. 

“Over time, farms have been evolving to become increasingly sophisticated businesses that harmonize automation, modernization and production operations,” StatsCan said. “As a result, many farms have consolidated and become increasingly larger both in terms of sales and number of employees. Conversely, smaller and mid-sized farms are declining in Canada, thereby impacting the rural landscape and profile of Canadian regions.”      

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Fireside Chat: Shifting Supply Chain & Trade Dynamics - CFA AGM 2022

Video: Fireside Chat: Shifting Supply Chain & Trade Dynamics - CFA AGM 2022

Canadian Federation of Agriculture - This Fireside Chat, sponsored by FHCP and moderated by FHCP CEO Michael Graydon, was an informative discussion on how current supply chain issues and trade dynamics can affect the overall Canadian food system.