From Statistics Canada
Farm operators are slightly older and there are fewer farms in Canada than in 2011, but farms are on average larger and more area is devoted to crop production according to the results from the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
While total farm area edged down from 2011, the area dedicated to cropland rose to 93.4 million acres in 2016. Although urbanization may reduce cropland available in some areas, a net increase in cropland is attributable to a shift in land use. Farmers have converted land formerly used as pasture, summerfallow or other less productive land into productive area. Canola remains the biggest crop, accounting for more than one-fifth of all cropland.
The number of farm operators declined from 2011 while the average age continued to rise. However, the proportion of operators under 35 years of age edged up for the first time since 1991. Despite the increase in the average age, only 1 in 12 operations reported having a formal succession plan laying out how the operation will be transferred to the next generation of farmers.
Primary agriculture accounted for 1.5% of national gross domestic product (agricultural gross domestic product) in 2013. However, this percentage rises to 4.6% when agricultural input and service providers, primary producers, food and beverage processors, agriculture food retail and wholesale industries are taken into account.
Agricultural operations in Canada employed 280,315 people in 2015. From a trade perspective, agricultural goods accounted for 2.2% of Canada’s total imports and 4.6% of total exports.
In terms of value, almost one-third of Canadian agricultural production was exported in 2013.
For more on the Census of Agriculture, visit the Statistics Canada website.
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