200 farms in Canada have more than 25,000 acres
OTTAWA — There are 48 Ontario farms with 5,000 acres or more in size, according to the 2021 Canadian Census, up 11 from a decade earlier. Nine of those farms are in Eastern Ontario. The rest are located in the province’s southwest (33) and north (6).
Two Ontario counties, Huron and Grey, each have four farms with more than 5,000 acres.
If you want to look at even bigger farms, the 2021 Census counted 200 Canadian farms with more than 25,000 acres. The vast majority are in Western Canada. There are 87 mega-farms in Alberta, 83 in Saskatchewan and 7 in Manitoba. Statistics Canada would not break down the number of Ontario farms above 5,000 acres, citing privacy concerns as there are so few, if any, Ontario farms so large.
The nine Eastern Ontario farms with 5,000 acres or more are located in six counties. The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG), the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (PR) and the City of Ottawa are each home to two of these large farms, while there is one each in Prince Edward County, Northumberland County and Durham Region. SDG and Prescott-Russell are also home to Eastern Ontario’s highest number of farms with at least 1,000 acres or more. There are 111 in SDG and 74 in Prescott-Russell. There are 53 in Durham Region.
There are 48,346 farms in Ontario.
The 48 large farms with more than 5,000 acres each have a combined land holding of just over 367,000 acres, accounting for 3.1 % of Ontario’s 11.7 million farm acres. That’s up from 2011, when the province had 41 farms with 5,000 acres or more controlling a combined 301,567 acres.
Of almost 190,000 farms in Canada, 5,204 farms have more than 5,000 acres. The number of Canadian farms from 5,000 to 10,000 acres increased 16.5 % from 2011 to 2021.
It’s no secret that farms have been gradually growing in size. At the same time, a steep decline in the number of mid-sized farms in Canada since 2011 poses a threat to the farmers’ political clout, according to the researcher behind a 2021 paper by the AgriFood Economic Systems think tank. The paper concludes the answer is not to rein in large farms that anchor the efficiency and competitiveness of our agri-food supply chains. Rather, it recommends a dialogue to spur collaboration and support the viability of small and mid-sized farms.