A report released by Statistics Canada says the number of farms in Canada is dropping, while their size is growing along with the age of the people running them.
The agency, which looked at the makeup of the industry based on data from the 2011 agricultural census, says there were 205,730 farms in 2011 — a decline of more than 74,000 since 1991.
Its report released Tuesday also says the average farm area increased from 80 hectares to 315 hectares.
Report author and agriculture analyst Martin Beaulieu said one reason for larger farms is that they are being consolidated as older operators retire.
"Unless there's (a) big reverse in terms of the younger farmers going into agriculture, these trends are more than likely to continue," Beaulieu said in a phone interview from Ottawa.
The report, entitled "Canadian Agriculture at a Glance," says the number of farm operators fell from 390,875 to 293,925 — a 24.8 per cent drop between 1991 and 2011.
Over the same period, the average age of farmers increased from 47.5 to 54 years. The data shows more than half of all farms in 2011 had operators over the age of 55 — up from less than 38 per cent in 1991.
There were also fewer farmers under the age of 40. Statistics Canada said less than one out of 10 farms were run by someone under 40, whereas two decades earlier it was about one in four."
Our group to Hawaii had two farm couples who had no children to take over their farm operation.
This data is similar most everywhere, especially in the United States. It takes so much money to start farming. Many sons and daughters of established farmers don't want to or can't make a go in farming.
Knowing the children in this picture, I doubt any of them will farm.
Who will farm?