Source: Statistics Canada
Data from the census will provide farm operators, farm organizations, policy makers, stakeholders and citizens with relevant information about the Canadian agricultural sector, and will help them make informed decisions regarding agricultural investments and practices in Canada.
The participation of beef farm operators in the Census of Agriculture is an important factor in obtaining new information at the local and national levels.
Accurate statistics give farm operators an understanding of past and present agricultural sector information and allow for well-informed responses to future farming challenges.
The Census of Agriculture is the backbone of Canada’s agricultural statistics program. It identifies trends, opportunities and challenges within the agricultural sector. Questions cover topics such as land use, crops, livestock, agricultural labour, machinery and equipment, land management practices, and farm finances. The breadth and depth of the census content makes it the most definitive source of information on the agricultural sector. It provides a rich source of data on the realities of farming life in Canada.
In early May, farm operators will receive a letter with easy-to-follow instructions on how to complete the Census of Agriculture questionnaire online. This user-friendly option will save time by automatically adding totals and limiting the questions to those that apply to the operation. All agricultural operations in Canada are legally required to complete the census questionnaire, according to the Statistics Act. The questionnaire can be completed by anyone who is responsible for, or knowledgeable about, the day-to-day management decisions of the farming operation. The information provided will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for statistical purposes as mandated by the same act.
This May, complete the Census of Agriculture questionnaire and be heard amongst Canada’s beef farmers!
Quick beef farming facts from the 2016 Census of Agriculture
- In 2016, there were 12.5 million cattle and calves on Canadian farms. Alberta led with 5.2 million, followed by Saskatchewan with 2.6 million and Ontario with 1.6 million.
- Alberta had more feeder beef cattle than all other provinces combined in 2016, with almost 1.5 million head.
- View a map of the Total cattle and calves by census division (CD), 2016, Canada.
- View a map of the Number of farms classified under “Cattle ranching and farming” in the North American Industry Classification System by census division (CD), 2016, Canada.
- View a map of the Change in number of farms classified under “Cattle ranching and farming” in the North American Industry Classification System by census division (CD) from 2011 to 2016, Canada.
- There were 36,013 farms specializing in beef farming (the majority of their farm receipts were from beef farming). Here are some facts about these farms:
- There was a total of 8.3 million cattle and calves (66.6% of the total number in Canada).
- The largest 5% of specialized beef farms raised 29.3% of all Canadian cattle and calves.
- Among specialized beef farms, 59.2% were held in sole proprietorship, 13.5% were owned by a family corporations and 1.4% were owned by a non-family corporations.
- The average herd size of a specialized farm was 232 cattle and calves.
- There were 50,295 operators across Canada, and 70.9% were male.
- The average operator age was 55.2 years old.
- More than half of operators (56.1%) were 55 years and older, 35.0% were 35 to 54 years old, and 9.0% were younger than 35.
- More than half of operators (51.1%) did not work anywhere other than on the farm, while 17.7% worked more than 40 hours per week at another job in addition to their farming duties.
For more information, please visit Statistics Canada—Census of Agriculture.