The results of the 2016 Census of Agriculture show that the agriculture industry continues to consolidate. There were 193,492 farms counted in 2016, down 5.9% from the previous census in 2011. However, this was the lowest rate of decline in 20 years.
There were 193,492 farms in Canada on Census Day, May 10, 2016. Although the number of farms in Canada has been decreasing over the last 75 years, the rate of decline from 2011 to 2016 was the lowest it has been in the last 20 years, at 5.9%.
The average size of farms has increased—to an average of 820 acres in 2016 from 779 acres in 2011.
Canadian farmers are getting older. The average age of a farm operator is 55. There was an increase in the number of farmers under 35.
Pig numbers rose from 12.7 million in 2011 to 14.1 million in 2016, while the number of farms reporting pigs increased from 7,371 to 8,402. The growth was due to better market conditions, which boosted the price of pigs relative to the period before the last census. Prior to the 2011 Census of Agriculture, the pig sector was beset by high feed costs, disease and low pig prices, resulting in many farmers leaving the sector and lower pig numbers (CANSIM table 002-0068, accessed April 25, 2017).
The proportion of female farm operators continues to increase. Female farm operators increased from 27.4% in 2011 to 28.7% in 2016.
The value of land and buildings used by agricultural operations increased by 37.5% from 2011 to 2016—from $311.2 billion to $427.9 billion.
Gross farm receipts totaled $69.4 billion in 2015, while operating expenses reached $57.5 billion.
Wednesday May 24, 2017/ Statistics Canada.