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2016 Census of Agriculture: A portrait of a 21st Century agricultural operation

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Released: 2017-05-17

While the modern operator may still live on his or her agricultural operation, farming has evolved into an innovative career choice requiring knowledge of business management and technology, as well as the agricultural sciences.

Driven by competition and aided by technology, the number of Canadian agricultural operations is decreasing and the agricultural operations that remain are larger and more capital intensive.

The 2016 Census of Agriculture recorded 193,492 agricultural operations, down 5.9% from 2011, and 271,935 farm operators, a decline of 7.5%.

While there are fewer agricultural operations and farm operators, agricultural operations are getting larger and using more of Canada's available agricultural land to grow crops. The area of cropland increased by 6.9% from 2011 to 93.4 million acres in 2016.

The analytical document "A portrait of a 21st Century agricultural operation" is now available. This is the first article from an analytical series based on 2016 Census of Agriculture data.

Based on the data from the 2016 Census of Agriculture, the infographic "A Portrait of Canadian Farms" (Catalogue number11-627-M) gives a visual overview of farm and farm operator characteristics in Canada.

The national snapshot 2016 Census of Agriculture, as well as provincial highlights, are now available online.


The article "A portrait of a 21st Century agricultural operation," which is part of Farm and Farm Operator Data (Catalogue number95-640-X), is now available. For a complete list of our products, visit 2016 Census of Agriculture. You can also consult the CANSIM tables 004-0200 to 004-0246.

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