Statistics Canada released the 2016 Census of Agriculture on May 10, focusing on Farm and Farm Operator Data and Reference Maps.

The census counted 193,492 farms, a 5.9% decrease from the 2011 census. This was the lowest rate of decline in the last 20 years. The average area per farm has increased from 779 acres in the 2011 census to an average of 820 acres in 2016.

Provincial Trends


  • Accounted for 59.8% of national corn for grain area and 49.6% of national soybean area in 2016
  • Cropland increased 1.0% to 9.0 million acres


  • Soybean area more than doubled from 2011 census, the largest soybean increase in soybean area in Canada
  • Province had largest proportion of farm operators under 35 years of age and second youngest population of farm operators in 2016


  • Despite fewer farms in the province in 2016 from 2011, the average farm size increased 7.0%
  • Area of cropland increased 11.2% to 40.5 million acres


  • Despite a decrease in the number of census farms from 2011, Alberta continues to have the second largest number of farms in Canada following Ontario
  • Average farm size grew from 1,168 acres in 2011 to 1,237 acres in 2016

British Columbia:

  • Field crop area increased 9.6% from 2011 to 483,957 acres in 2016
  • Province had highest proportion of female farm operators (37.5%) in Canada in 2016, up from 36.5% in 2011

Census Release Dates

Remaining sections of the 2016 Census of Agriculture will be released on the following dates:

May 17 to June 21, 2017: Analytical series (weekly releases)

June 28, 2017: Canada 150 - agriculture (infographic)

September 13, 2017: Agricultural Ecumene

December 13, 2017: Historical data; Thematic Maps

Fall 2017 to Fall 2018: Canadian Agriculture at a Glance

November 27, 2018: Agriculture-Population Linkage Data

Click here to view the 2016 Census of Agriculture.

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Tags: Data Research

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