Manitoba in the 2021 Census of Agriculture

Manitoba in the 2021 Census of Agriculture
May 26, 2022

The number of farms and the total farm area dropped between 2016 and 2021

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Manitoba had fewer farms in 2021 than it did in 2016, data from the 2021 Census of Agriculture says.

The questionnaire recorded 14,543 farms in 2021, compared to 14,791 in the 2016 census.

This means Manitoba lost 248 farms over five years, or an average of about 49 farms per year between 2016 and 2021.

For the 2021 census, Statistics Canada used a different definition of the word “farm.”

“This time around, a farm is any operation that will be reporting revenues of expenses to the Canada Revenue Agency,” Erin Kumar, unit head, analyst with Stats Canada, told ahead of the data release. “People should be aware of this when they’re comparing data.”

The total farm area in Manitoba also fell.

In 2016, farmers produced food on 17,637,639 acres. The 2021 census shows that number has dropped to 17,121,019 acres – a difference of 516,620 acres.

To put that decrease into context, the entire area of the African country Mauritius is about 506,566 acres.

Manitoba also has fewer farmers than in previous years.

The 2021 census reported 19,465 operators compared to 20,140 in 2016. A decrease of 675 operators.

What Manitoba does have, however, is more female operators.

In 2021 Manitoba had 5,150 female farmers, up from 4,785 in 2016.

Those numbers represent an increase of 365 female farmers over five years, or about 73 per year between 2016 and 2021.

Statistics Canada has also started collecting information on succession planning.

In Manitoba, 1,714 farms reported having a written succession plan. Of those, 1,652 include one or more family member while 79 include one or more non-family member.

More than 3,600 farms reported having a verbal succession plan and 9,148 farms reported no succession plan.

Here are some other Manitoba highlights from the 2021 Census of Agriculture:

  • The number of farms reporting growing oats increased from 2,954 in 2016 to 3,672 in 2021.
  • The number of pig farms in Manitoba fell from 665 in 2016 to 566 in 2021. However, the average size of a pig farm increased from 5,087 in 2016 to 6,104 in 2021. That represents an increase of 1,017 pigs.
  • Eight Manitoba hatcheries reported hatching 33,123,345 birds in 2021.
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