Ontario is a pivotal contributor to Canadian agriculture, as it is to many economic sectors across Canada. The province’s large size (largest population and second largest province by land area) and its abundance of natural resources help position it among the nation’s leaders in farming.
The province once again made up the largest national share of farms and farm operators. In addition, it was the second largest contributor to the country’s farm operating revenues. Moreover, Ontario was the leader among all provinces in farming commodities such as soybeans, corn for grain, and greenhouse products.
Results from the 2021 Census of Agriculture show that Ontario accounted for over one-quarter (25.5%) of total farms in Canada while making up 7.7% of the total farm area. In 2021, there were 48,346 farms reported in Ontario, down from 49,600 in 2016. The rate of decline (-2.5%) was slightly higher than the national rate (-1.9%). Over the same period, the total farm area in Ontario decreased by 4.7% from the previous census, down to 11.8 million acres in 2021.
Ontario continues to dominate the greenhouse products market
Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) have been critical to greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture farming. In 2018, they accounted for 31.2% of employees working on farms in Ontario. Despite pandemic measures that inhibited border crossing for TFWs, Ontario’s greenhouse fruit and vegetable production remained resilient.
In 2021, farms in Ontario accounted for 61.8% of the total greenhouse area reported in Canada. Compared with the previous census, the total greenhouse area in the province increased by 27.8%, which was 4.6 percentage points above the national rate. In 2021, farms in Ontario reported 204.2 million square feet of greenhouse area, up from 159.8 million square feet in 2016.
The total greenhouse area for fruits and vegetables, which accounted for 74.6% of Ontario’s reported greenhouse area, was highly concentrated in farms in the top revenue category. In 2021, 94.0% of the total greenhouse area for fruits and vegetables was reported by farms with annual revenues of $2 million and over.
Read the complete article at www150.statcan.gc.ca.