Statistics Canada’s Census of Agriculture is conducted at the same time as the regular census, that is, in May of 2016. At that point in time, there were 34,523 farms and 45,350 farm operators in Saskatchewan. Among the wealth of information about land use, finances, and demographics, three long-standing trends are continuing.
- The number of farms continues to decline. The drop of 7% between 2011 and 2016 is lower than in the past so the rate of consolidation is slowing. Threequarters of the farmland in the province is now farmed by 12,000 large farms.
- Farmers continue to diversity away from livestock into grain/oilseed farming and away from wheat into non-traditional field crops. In 2016 more acres were planted in oilseeds than in wheat and durum combined. Summerfallowed fields are becoming quite rare – 4% of cropland in 2016.
- The average age of farm operators continues to increase. In 2016, more than one-half were 55 years of age or older. An increasing proportion are women