Ontario is an agricultural powerhouse that leads in lots of farming classes


Ontario is a pivotal contributor to Canadian agriculture, as it’s to many financial sectors throughout Canada. The province’s massive measurement (largest inhabitants and second largest province by land space) and its abundance of pure sources assist place it among the many nation’s leaders in farming.

The province as soon as once more made up the biggest nationwide share of farms and farm operators. As well as, it was the second largest contributor to the nation’s farm working revenues. Furthermore, Ontario was the chief amongst all provinces in farming commodities corresponding to soybeans, corn for grain, and greenhouse merchandise.

Outcomes from the 2021 Census of Agriculture present that Ontario accounted for over one-quarter (25.5%) of complete farms in Canada, whereas making up 7.7% of complete farm space. In 2021, there have been 48,346 farms reported in Ontario, down from 49,600 in 2016. The speed of decline (-2.5%) was barely increased than the nationwide fee (-1.9%). Over the identical interval, the full farm space in Ontario decreased by 4.7% from the earlier census, all the way down to 11.8 million acres in 2021.

In 2021, in contrast with different provinces, Ontario had the biggest proportion of Canada’s farms labeled as poultry and egg manufacturing (38.9%); sheep and goat (36.6%); different animal manufacturing (28.7%); vegetable and melon (30.8%); and greenhouse, nursery and floriculture (31.8%).




















Desk 1

Variety of farms by farm kind, Ontario and Canada, 2021

Desk abstract

This desk shows the outcomes of Variety of farms by farm kind Ontario, Canada and p.c (showing as column headers).

Ontario Canada p.c
Dairy and milk manufacturing 3,188 9,403 33.9
Beef farming and feedlots 7,986 39,633 20.2
Hog and pig farming 1,189 3,016 39.4
Poultry and egg manufacturing 2,061 5,296 38.9
Sheep and goat farming 1,309 3,575 36.6
Different animal manufacturing 4,556 15,873 28.7
Oilseed and grain farming 18,194 65,135 27.9
Vegetable and melon farming 1,562 5,076 30.8
Fruit and tree nut farming 1,211 7,101 17.1
Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture manufacturing 1,672 5,256 31.8
Different crop farming 5,418 30,510 17.8
Complete 48,346 189,874 25.5

Ontario is residence to soybeans and corn for grain

Ontario was the chief amongst all provinces within the space of soybeans and corn for grain. In 2021, over half (54.4%) of Canada’s soybean acreage was reported in Ontario, up from 49.6% in 2016. Regardless of the general lower in soybean acreage on the nationwide degree (-8.2%), farms in Ontario reported a marginal enhance of 0.8% in soybean acreage from the earlier census. In 2021, there have been 2.8 million acres of soybeans.

Corn for grain is one other main crop grown in Ontario, which made up 59.9% of Canada’s complete corn for grain space, up from 59.8% in 2016. The full space of corn for grain within the province elevated by 1.9% from the earlier census, totalling 2.2 million acres in 2021.

The rise within the space of soybeans and corn for grain within the province could be attributed to their robust costs. The Farm Product Worth Index exhibits that Canada noticed a 38.2% enhance within the value index of grains between 2017 and 2021.  

Information desk for Chart 1
















Information desk for chart 1

Desk abstract

This desk shows the outcomes of Information desk for chart 1 p.c (showing as column headers).

p.c
Soybeans 31.8
Corn for grain 24.9
Winter wheat 13.0
Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures 11.2
Different 19.2



Ontario continues to dominate the greenhouse merchandise market

Momentary overseas employees (TFWs) have been crucial to greenhouse, nursery and floriculture farming. In 2018, they accounted for 31.2% of workers engaged on farms in Ontario. Regardless of pandemic measures that inhibited border crossing for TFWs, Ontario’s greenhouse fruit and vegetable manufacturing remained resilient.

In 2021, farms in Ontario accounted for 61.8% of complete greenhouse space reported in Canada. In contrast with the earlier census, the full greenhouse space within the province elevated by 27.8%, which was 4.6 proportion factors above the nationwide fee. In 2021, farms in Ontario reported 204.2 million sq. ft of greenhouse space, up from 159.8 million sq. ft in 2016.

The full greenhouse space for vegetables and fruit, which accounted for 74.6% of Ontario’s reported greenhouse space, was extremely concentrated in farms within the prime income class. In 2021, 94.0% of complete greenhouse space for vegetables and fruit was reported by farms with annual revenues of $2 million and over.

Dairy cow and hog numbers are up, whereas their farm numbers are declining

In 2021, farms in Ontario reported over one-third (33.4%) of Canada’s dairy cows, which made the province the second largest contributor within the nation. In the meantime, the variety of dairy cows reported within the province elevated by 4.9% from the earlier census, up from 311,960 in 2016.

Due to the robust demand for hogs and pigs from the US, the variety of pigs in Ontario elevated by 15.2%, which was greater than 4 instances the nationwide fee (3.4%). In 2016, there have been 3.5 million hogs and pigs, and by 2021, the quantity elevated to 4.1 million. Of all kinds of pigs, market pigs had the best fee of enhance, at 22.8%, up from 1.8 million in 2016.














Desk 2

Variety of pigs reported in Ontario, 2016 and 2021

Desk abstract

This desk shows the outcomes of Variety of pigs reported in Ontario 2016, 2021 and p.c change (showing as column headers).

2016 2021 p.c change
Boars stored for breeding 5,112 4,412 -13.7
Sows and gilts stored for breeding 313,698 326,852 4.2
Suckling pigs, below 15 kilos 503,771 498,008 -1.1
Weanling, nursery or starter pigs, 15 to 49 kilos 882,239 995,701 12.9
Market pigs, over 50 kilos 1,829,284 2,246,928 22.8
Complete variety of pigs 3,534,104 4,071,902 15.2

Regardless of the rise in Ontario’s dairy cow and hog numbers, the variety of farms reporting dairy cows and hogs and pigs decreased 13.8% and 11.7%, respectively, from the earlier census. In 2016, there have been 4,400 farms reporting dairy cows, and by 2021, the quantity decreased to three,793. The variety of farms reporting hogs and pigs declined from 2,760 in 2016 to 2,437 in 2021. In Ontario, the lower within the variety of farms reporting dairy cows or hogs from 2016 was primarily in medium-sized farms (with revenues between $50,000 and $500,000). In the meantime, the variety of farms with revenues of not less than $2 million elevated, indicating farm consolidation.

Majority of Ontario farms have below $100,000 in revenues

In 2020, 59.9% of farms in Ontario had below $100,000 in revenues, down from 61.4% in 2015. By comparability, farms with lower than $100,000 in revenues made up 55.8% of complete farms in Canada in 2020. According to the development of fewer however bigger farms from the earlier census, the variety of farms in Ontario with revenues of $1 million and over elevated by 19.2%, up from 3,479 in 2015.

Farms develop direct advertising and marketing strategies to adapt to shopper wants

Throughout the pandemic, shoppers have been extra prepared to purchase meals that may be offered on-line and delivered to their doorstep. With the mixing of direct gross sales strategies corresponding to direct supply and off-site stands, the proportion of farms in Ontario reporting direct gross sales elevated from the earlier census. In 2020, 15.9% of farms in Ontario reported direct gross sales, up from 15.1% in 2015. By comparability, the proportion of farms reporting direct gross sales in Canada was 13.6% in 2020.

In 2020, fruit and tree nut farms in Ontario surpassed vegetable and melon farms to develop into the probably to report direct gross sales. The proportion of farms in Ontario labeled as fruit and tree nut reporting direct gross sales elevated from 46.7% in 2015 to 49.8% in 2020. 

Extra Ontario farms are utilizing renewable vitality and sustainable land practices

One technique to mitigate the chance posed by local weather change is to make use of renewable vitality and land practices to enhance the sustainability of the land. The variety of farms within the province reporting renewable vitality manufacturing elevated by 63.8% to eight,483 in 2021. These farms accounted for 17.5% of complete farms in Ontario, the best proportion in any province, and above the nationwide fee (11.9%).

In 2020, 67.2% of farms in Ontario reported utilizing land practices corresponding to in-field winter grazing or feeding and rotational grazing, up from 60.1% in 2015. This was additionally above the nationwide fee (64.5%). Specifically, Ontario had the best proportion (26.7%) of farms planting winter cowl crops compared with different provinces.

Ontario ranks fourth in know-how use and leads in soil pattern testing and geographic info system mapping

In 2020, over half (54.1%) of farms in Ontario reported know-how use, making Ontario rank fourth throughout provinces. This was additionally barely increased than the nationwide common (50.4%). Farms have been utilizing subtle agricultural know-how to enhance farming effectivity, assist shield the surroundings from fertilizer over-application and keep aggressive within the world market. The kinds of know-how embrace however aren’t restricted to totally robotic milking, automated steering steering programs and geographic info system mapping.

Soil pattern testing was probably the most used know-how in Ontario. In 2020, 36.4% of farms in Ontario reported soil pattern testing, and 30.5% reported the usage of slow-release fertilizer. The utilization of geographic info system mapping prevents fertilizer over-application, and Ontario leads within the quantity (8,567) of farms outfitted with this know-how in 2020, up from 5,436 in 2015. By comparability, the proportion on the nationwide degree was 13.2%, up from 8.2% in 2015.

Ontario is the second prime contributor to the nationwide enhance in succession planning

The mix of getting old farm operators and rising well being issues related to COVID-19 could have brought on extra farm operators to contemplate succession plans. In 2021, 12.4% of farms in Ontario reported a succession plan, up from 8.5% in 2016. The full variety of farms in Ontario reporting a succession plan elevated by 42.3% from the earlier census, up from 4,206 in 2016. By comparability, the speed of enhance was 41.2% on the nationwide degree, up from 16,200 in 2016.

Ontario continues to steer Canada within the variety of farm operators

As was the case in 2016, the variety of farm operators reported in Ontario made up over one-quarter (25.7%) of complete farm operators reported in Canada in 2021. In the meantime, the variety of farm operators within the province decreased by 4.4% from the earlier census, which was barely above the nationwide fee (-3.5%). In 2021, there have been 67,390 farm operators in Ontario, down from 70,470 in 2016. Nonetheless, farm operators of oilseed and grain farms elevated by 6.6% from 2016, as much as 24,115 in 2021. These farm operators accounted for over one-third (35.8%) of complete farm operators reported in Ontario, up from 32.1% in 2016.

The proportion of feminine farm operators continues to rise

Though the full variety of farm operators in Ontario decreased over time, the proportion of feminine farm operators elevated from 29.7% in 2016 to 31.0% in 2021. This was as a result of the variety of feminine operators within the province remained regular over this era. There have been 20,905 feminine farm operators in 2016, and by 2021, the quantity decreased marginally to twenty,895. Conversely, the variety of male farm operators decreased 6.2% from 2016, all the way down to 46,490 in 2021.

Center-aged farm operator numbers drop considerably

The variety of farm operators in Ontario youthful than 35 years previous (youthful operators) decreased by 15.0% from the earlier census, down from 6,610 in 2016. By comparability, the variety of farm operators aged 35 to 54 years previous (middle-aged operators) decreased by 20.9%, all the way down to 19,780 in 2021. Conversely, the variety of farm operators aged 55 or older (older operators) elevated by 8.1% from 2016, as much as 42,000 in 2021.

The lower within the variety of youthful and middle-aged operators has led to an getting old farm operator inhabitants. The typical age of Ontario’s farm operators elevated by 1.4 years to 56.7, up from 55.3 years in 2016.

Chart 2 Proportion of farm operators by age category, Ontario, 2016 and 2021

Information desk for Chart 2














Information desk for chart 2

Desk abstract

This desk shows the outcomes of Information desk for chart 2 Below 35 years, 35 to 54 years and 55 years and older, calculated utilizing p.c items of measure (showing as column headers).

Below 35 years 35 to 54 years 55 years and older
p.c
2016 9.4 35.5 55.1
2021 8.3 29.4 62.3



Ontario has the second largest proportion of operators working off the farm

Practically half (49.2%) of Ontario’s farm operators reported working off the farm in 2020. The variety of farm operators within the province reporting off-farm work elevated 1.5% from the earlier census, totalling 33,150 farm operators in 2020. By comparability, the speed of enhance for off-farm work on the nationwide degree was 3.8%.

The rise in operators reporting off-farm work in Ontario was pushed by those that labored half time. In 2015, there have been 9,555 farm operators working half day off the farm, and by 2020, the quantity elevated to 10,295. By comparability, the variety of farm operators who reported off-farm work on a full-time foundation decreased barely from 23,105 in 2015 to 22,855 in 2020. Consequently, the proportion of operators reporting part-time off-farm work elevated by 1.8 proportion factors from 2015, as much as 31.1% in 2020.

Chart 3 Distribution of farm operators who reported off-farm work by hours per week category, Ontario, 2015 and 2020

Information desk for Chart 3














Information desk for chart 3

Desk abstract

This desk shows the outcomes of Information desk for chart 3 Greater than 40 hours, 30 to 40 hours, 20 to 29 hours and Lower than 20 hours, calculated utilizing p.c items of measure (showing as column headers).

Greater than 40 hours 30 to 40 hours 20 to 29 hours Lower than 20 hours
p.c
2015 39.9 30.9 12.3 17.0
2020 37.1 31.9 10.7 20.4



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Be aware to Readers

Definitions and ideas

A major conceptual change to the primary statistical unit utilized by Statistics Canada’s Agriculture Statistics Program has been launched for the 2021 Census of Agriculture: a “farm” or an “agricultural holding” (i.e., the census farm) now refers to a unit that produces agricultural merchandise and experiences revenues or bills for tax functions to the Canada Income Company. Earlier than 2021, a “farm” was outlined as an agricultural operation that produced not less than one agricultural product meant on the market


In 2021, there have been modifications to the definition of a census farm; in Yukon and Northwest Territories, some actions that have been beforehand included throughout the definition aren’t included in 2021. Warning needs to be taken when evaluating the 2021 Census of Agriculture knowledge with knowledge from earlier censuses.


The information displayed by geography have undergone random tabular adjustment. The Canada complete knowledge for geographic breakdowns could differ from the Canada complete knowledge displayed in tables by North American Trade Classification System (NAICS) class and gross sales class.


The information for Yukon and the Northwest Territories aren’t included within the nationwide totals; they’re offered individually.


The Census of Agriculture is carried out each 5 years and is a census of all agricultural operations that produces agricultural merchandise and experiences revenues or bills for tax functions to the Canada Income Company. Essential ideas used on this evaluation embrace:


Complete farm space, which is land owned or operated by an agricultural operation, contains: cropland, summer time fallow, improved and unimproved pasture, woodlands and wetlands, all different land (together with idle land and land on which farm buildings are positioned).


Complete farm space contains the full space of land owned, leased, rented, crop-shared or utilized by this operation minus land space utilized by others.


Cropland is the full space of area crops, hay, area greens, fruits, berries, nuts, sod, nursery merchandise and Christmas timber.


Farm kind is established by means of a process that classifies every census farm in keeping with the predominant kind of manufacturing. That is completed by estimating the potential revenues from the inventories of crops and livestock reported on the questionnaire and figuring out the product or group of merchandise that make up the vast majority of the estimated receipts. For instance, a census farm with complete potential revenues of 60% from hogs, 20% from beef cattle and 20% from wheat, could be labeled as a hog and pig farm. The farm sorts offered on this doc are derived based mostly on the 2017 NAICS.


Farm operator refers to any particular person accountable for the administration selections in working a farm or agricultural operation. Often known as an agricultural operator, farmer, operator or rancher.


Farm workers embrace each farm operators and agricultural employees.


Worth indexes have been used to acquire fixed greenback estimates of gross sales, export values and farm belongings to be able to get rid of the impression of value change in year-to-year comparisons.


Farm working revenues

Farm working revenues come from the Agriculture Taxation Information Program (ATDP). Beforehand, revenues for agricultural operations have been reported to the Census of Agriculture. Warning needs to be taken when evaluating the 2021 Census of Agriculture knowledge with earlier censuses.


The Census of Agriculture measures farm working revenues (in present {dollars}) for the calendar or accounting yr previous to the census. Farm working revenues (earlier than deducting bills) on this evaluation embrace: working revenues from all agricultural merchandise offered, program funds and customized work revenues.


The next aren’t included in farm working revenues: gross sales of forestry merchandise (for instance: firewood, pulpwood, logs, fence posts and pilings); gross sales of capital objects (for instance: quota, land, equipment); and revenues from the sale of any items bought just for retail gross sales.


Complete working bills

Complete working bills come from the ATDP. Beforehand, bills for agricultural operations have been reported to the Census of Agriculture. Warning needs to be taken when evaluating the 2021 Census of Agriculture knowledge with earlier censuses.


The Census of Agriculture measures working bills (in present {dollars}) for the calendar or accounting yr previous to the census. Complete working bills embrace any expense related to producing agricultural merchandise (corresponding to the price of seed, feed, gasoline, fertilizers).


The next aren’t included in complete working bills: the acquisition of land, buildings or gear, and depreciation or capital price allowance. Depreciation represents financial “put on and tear” expense. Capital price allowance represents the quantity of depreciation written off by the tax filer as allowed by tax laws.


Bills-to-revenues ratio

The expenses-to-revenues ratio is the common quantity of working bills incurred for a greenback in farm working revenues. The ratio is calculated in present {dollars}.

Census Day was Might 11, 2021. Farmers have been requested to report their working revenues and bills for the final full fiscal or calendar yr (2020).


Full-time employment is classed as farm operators who labored 30 hours or extra per week; part-time employment is classed as farm operators who labored much less than 30 hours per week.


Some knowledge check with a reference interval apart from Census Day. For instance, for monetary knowledge the reference interval is the calendar or accounting (fiscal) yr previous to the census.


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