Blueberry and cranberry areas increased in New Brunswick

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New Brunswick’s total fruit area climbed 23.5% to 29,851 acres in 2011, up from 24,174 acres in 2006. Higher total fruit area was driven by expansion of the province’s two largest berry crops – blueberries and cranberries.

Blueberry area increased 26.1% since 2006 to 27,878 acres in 2011. New Brunswick reported the highest percentage increase in blueberry area in Atlantic Canada.

Cranberry area increased 59.2% to 866 acres, up from 544 acres in 2006. New Brunswick reported the largest area of cranberries in Atlantic Canada, as well as the third largest area in the country.

Corn for grain, soybeans and canola areas increased

Since 2006, the area of corn for grain in New Brunswick increased 142.9% to 10,611 acres, soybean area increased 462.6% to 10,600 acres and canola area increased 916.0% to 9,002 acres in 2011.

Gross farm receipts decreased

New Brunswick’s gross farm receipts in 2010, the year prior to the census, decreased 0.9% (at 2010 constant prices) to $552.8 million, from 2005. At the national level there was a 3.9% increase in gross farm receipts between 2005 and 2010. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the only provinces to report a decrease in gross farm receipts.

Operators spent an average of 86 cents in expenses (excluding depreciation) for every dollar of receipts in 2010, the same as in 2005.

Vegetable and melon farm and dairy farm types accounted for 28.3% and 18.7% of gross farm receipts, respectively. Fruit and tree nut farming comprised another 6.3% of gross farm receipts. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) provides a framework for classifying farms based on the commodities they produce and the value of these commodities. The farm types presented in this document are derived based on this system.

Farm numbers decreased

The 2011 Census of Agriculture counted 2,611 census farms in New Brunswick in 2011, a 5.9% decrease since 2006. This compares to a 10.3% decrease at the national level. A census farm is an agricultural operation that produces agricultural products intended for sale.

New Brunswick accounted for 1.3% of Canada’s 205,730 farms in 2011, which was slightly higher than its share in 2006.

Farm operators

New Brunswick reported 3,470 farm operators in 2011, 6.1% lower than in 2006, following the trend in the number of farms. In 2011, 21.0% of New Brunswick farm operators were women while nationally this percentage was 27.4%.

The average age of a farm operator in New Brunswick in 2011 was 55.5 years compared with 52.8 years in 2006. Nationally the average age of a farm operator in 2011 was 54.0 years, up from 52.0 years in 2006.

In 2010, 37.3% of all New Brunswick farm operators worked more than 40 hours a week on average on their farm operations, compared to 46.7% five years earlier. At the national level this percentage was 40.1% in 2010.

In 2010, 44.5% of all New Brunswick farm operators had an off-farm job or business, while at the national level this percentage was 46.9%.

According to the Census of Agriculture, 31.1% of New Brunswick operators who were under the age of 35 on census day worked off the farm for more than 40 hours a week on average in 2010, compared to 27.9% of operators aged 35 to 54, and 10.9% of operators over 55 years of age.

Farm area

Total farm area in New Brunswick decreased 4.0% between 2006 and 2011 to 0.9 million acres in 2011.

Despite the decrease in total land area, average area per farm increased. Farms in New Brunswick averaged 359 acres in 2011, up from 352 acres five years earlier.

Of the total farmland in New Brunswick in 2011, 37.5% was cropland, a slight decline from 38.5% reported in 2006. Farm operators reported 351,231 acres of cropland in New Brunswick in 2011, down from 375,590 acres in 2006. Cropland is the total area used in field crops, fruits, vegetables, sod and nursery.

Of the total farm area in New Brunswick in 2011, 37.5% was cropland, a slight decline from 38.5% reported in 2006. Farm operators reported 351,231 acres of cropland in New Brunswick in 2011, down from 375,590 acres in 2006. Cropland is the total area used in hay, field crops, fruits, field vegetables, sod and nursery.

Proportion of cropland, New Brunswick, 2006 and 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Proportion of cropland. The information is grouped by Composition of cropland (appearing as row headers), Percent of cropland* (appearing as column headers).
Composition of cropland Percent of croplandNote *
2011 2006
Field crops 40.8 37.7
Hay 49.7 54.9
Fruits 8.5 6.4
Vegetables 0.5 0.6
Sod and Nursery 0.4 0.4

The majority of cropland (90.5%) in New Brunswick was reported as field crops and hay (Table 1). The proportion of hay decreased from 54.9% of cropland in 2006 to 49.7% in 2011. Field crops (including potatoes) represented 40.8% of reported cropland in 2011, up from 37.7% in 2006. Increased prices for cash crops coupled with declining beef cattle and pig numbers led to a shift from forages and crops traditionally used for feed to more profitable cash crops.

Total fruit area represented 8.5% of cropland in 2011, up from 6.4% in 2006.


The total number of dairy cows in the province decreased to 18,534 head in 2011, down from 18,814 in 2006. The number of beef cattle reported for breeding purposes (beef cows and beef heifers) decreased by 24.8% since 2006, totalling 18,835 head in 2011.

The number of pigs in the province dropped 49.1% since 2006. There were 54,630 pigs reported in the province in 2011, down from 107,254 in 2006.

Organic farms

According to the census, there were 59 farms with certified organic and/or transitional production in New Brunswick. This represents 2.3% of all farms in the province. Nationwide, 2.0% of all farms reported certified organic and/or transitional production.

The predominant category of organic products reported in New Brunswick was fruit, vegetable and greenhouse production and it was reported by 50.8% of the province’s 59 certified organic and/or transitional farms.

Other agricultural highlights in New Brunswick

  • In 2011, New Brunswick reported the fourth largest area of potatoes in the country with 51,814 acres – a 13.5% decrease since 2006.
  • The area of grains traditionally used for livestock feed decreased in 2011. Since 2006, oat area decreased 6.6% to 23,324 acres and barley area decreased 30.4% to 23,144 acres.
  • Apple area decreased 31.3% since 2006 to 550 acres in 2011. New Brunswick ranked fifth among provinces for total apple area in 2011.
  • New Brunswick ranked second in Canada for total number of maple taps with 1.9 million taps in 2011, an increase of 11.4% from 2006.
  • Total vegetable area decreased 10.0%, from 2,136 acres in 2006 to 1,923 acres in 2011. The largest vegetable crop areas in New Brunswick were sweet corn, squash and zucchini, and green beans.
  • Sweet corn area decreased 19.5%, from 482 acres in 2006 to 388 acres in 2011.
  • No-till methods were used on 7.1% of the land prepared for seeding in 2011, up from 5.1% in 2006. Conventional tillage decreased to 68.4% of land prepared for seeding, from 78.0% five years earlier. Conservation tillage was used on 24.5% of the land prepared for seeding, compared to 16.9% in 2006.
  • The 2011 Census marked the first time farm operators were asked to report the area from which crop residue was baled for bedding or sale. In 2010, crop residue was baled from 21,059 acres in New Brunswick.
  • High-speed internet access was reported by 41.0% of the province's farms, compared to a national average of 44.8%.
  • In New Brunswick 43.3% of all farms in the province reported paid labour for the year 2010. The census counted 7,452 paid employees, of whom 27.2% worked year-round in a full or part-time capacity while 72.8% were seasonal or temporary employees.

A snapshot in time

The 2011 Census of Agriculture is the most recent measure of the overall state of Canadian agriculture and its wealth of data provides a valuable snapshot of the sector. The census program provides a data continuum stretching back to 1921, while agricultural data has been collected since the first Census of Canada in 1871.

Since the previous Census of Agriculture in 2006, fluctuating commodity prices in certain sectors as well as changing costs of fertilizers, fuel, seed and livestock feed affected the farming community. The residual effects of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and avian influenza were also issues.

However, many changes have since ensued, including favourable commodity prices in some sectors as well as continued evolution in global economic conditions, and some of these factors have benefited the Canadian agricultural sector. At the same time, many farm operators continued to adapt their production and farming practices to become more efficient and to respond to market factors and consumer demands.

These developments, as well as the dynamic and complex nature of the Canadian agricultural industry, are an important reminder that the Census is a snapshot of the agricultural sector that captures its state at a point in time, and does not measure the annual fluctuations between census years.

Statistics Canada would like to thank the farming community of New Brunswick for participation and assistance in the 2011 Census of Agriculture.

For further information regarding the Census of Agriculture, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre at 613-951-8116 or toll-free 1-800-263-1136;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Rosemary Villani at 613-951-2889, Census of Agriculture, Agriculture Division.


Census farm

An operation is considered a census farm (agricultural operation) if it produces at least one of the following products intended for sale:

  • Crops: Hay, field crops, tree fruits or nuts, berries or grapes, vegetables, seed
  • Livestock: Cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, game animals, other livestock
  • Poultry: Hens, chickens, turkeys, chicks, game birds, other poultry
  • Animal products: Milk or cream, eggs, wool, furs, meat
  • Other agricultural products: Christmas trees, sod, greenhouse, or nursery products, mushrooms, honey or bees, maple syrup and its products

The data for the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories are not included in the national totals because of the different definition of an agricultural operation in the territories and confidentiality constraints. The data for the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories are presented separately.

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Certified organic

An operation or products are referred to as "certified organic" when certification has taken place. Certification refers to the procedure whereby a certification body accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides written assurance that products and production systems conform to specified requirements. Certification may be based on a range of inspection activities including verification of management practices, auditing of quality assurance systems and in/out production balances. (Source: Canada Organic Office Operating Manual)

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Transitional organic

Transitional organic refers to those who were in the process of undertaking the three-year process of having all or part of their operations certified organic at the time of the 2011 Census of Agriculture.

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Gross farm receipts

The Census of Agriculture measures gross farm receipts for the calendar or accounting year prior to the census.

Gross farm receipts (before deducting expenses) in this analysis include:

  • receipts from all agricultural products sold
  • program payments and custom work receipts.

The following are not included in gross farm receipts:

  • sales of forestry products (for example: firewood, pulpwood, logs, fence posts and pilings)
  • sales of capital items (for example: quota, land, machinery)
  • receipts from the sale of any goods purchased only for retail sales.

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2005 to 2010

Some data refer to a reference period other than Census Day. For example, for financial data the reference period is the calendar or accounting (fiscal) year prior to the census.

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Farm type

Farm type is established through a procedure that classifies each census farm according to the predominant type of production. This is done by estimating the potential receipts from the inventories of crops and livestock reported on the questionnaire and determining the product or group of products that make up the majority of the estimated receipts. For example, a census farm with total potential receipts of 60% from hogs, 20% from beef cattle and 20% from wheat, would be classified as a hog and pig farm. The farm types presented in this document are derived based on the 2007 North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The chart below shows how these derived farm types relate to NAICS.

Table summary
This table displays the results of Farm Type.
The information is grouped by Census of Agriculture derived categories appearing as row headers, and NAICS five-digit classes appearing as column headers.
Census of Agriculture derived categories NAICS five-digit classes
Dairy Dairy cattle and milk production 
Beef Beef cattle ranching and farming, including feedlots
Hog and pig Hog and pig farming
Poultry and egg Chicken egg production 
Broiler and other meat-type chicken production
Turkey production
Poultry hatcheries
Combination poultry and egg production
All other poultry production 
Sheep and goat Sheep farming
Goat farming
Other animal Apiculture
Horse and other equine production
Fur-bearing animal and rabbit production
Animal combination farming
All other miscellaneous animal production
Oilseed and grain Soybean farming
Oilseed (except soybean) farming
Dry pea and bean farming
Wheat farming
Corn farming
Other grain farming
Vegetable and melon Potato farming
Other vegetable (except potato) and melon farming
Fruit and tree-nut Fruit and tree nut farming
Greenhouse and nursery Mushroom production
Other food crops grown under cover
Nursery and tree production
Floriculture production
Other crop Tobacco farming
Hay farming
Fruit and vegetable combination farming
Maple syrup and products production
All other miscellaneous crop farming

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Farm operator

According to the census, a farm operator is any person responsible for the management decisions made for an agricultural operation as of May 10, 2011.

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