The trend to consolidation and adaptation in the Canadian agricultural sector continued between 2006 and 2011 as the number of census farms declined and many farms expanded and consolidated their operations.
The 2011 Census of Agriculture showed a shift away from livestock-based farms to crop-based farms. The 2011 Census of Agriculture counted 205,730 census farms, a decline of 23,643 or 10.3% from 2006. At the same time, the number of farm operators fell by 33,135 or 10.1% to 293,925.
Between 2006 and 2011, the average size of Canadian farms increased 6.9% from 728 acres to 778 acres. In Saskatchewan, the average farm size increased 15.1% to 1,668 acres, the largest increase in the country.
Production shifted as well. Crop production and beef farming have long been the backbone of Canadian agriculture, but the gap between the two has widened. In 2006, oilseed and grain farms accounted for 26.9% of all farms and beef farms accounted for 26.6%. By 2011, the share of oilseed and grain farms had increased to 30.0%, while the share of beef farms had declined to 18.2%.
May 2012/ Statistics of Canada Canada.