What do farming statistics tell us about ways of life?

How often does Canada conduct a census of agriculture?

PICK ONE OF THE ANSWERS BELOW, THEN SCROLL DOWN TO EXPLORE FARM AND FOOD TRENDS

Read and discuss WHAT’S TRENDING to find some trends and statistics that show what’s happening with Canadian and Alberta farms and farmers.

Complete the activities in USE STATISTICS TO IDENTIFY FARM TRENDS.

changing farm and farming trends

Farming is the practice of growing plants and raising animals for food. In the past, most farms were small, and farm families practiced mixed farming. For example, farmers may have grown wheat and barley and have a dairy cow, chickens and pigs on their farms.

Although this has changed, the family farm has not. Over 97 percent of Canadian farms are family farms. In Alberta, 100 percent of dairy farms are family farms!

Farmers have always used technology, but the technology has changed the way that food is produced. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, farmers used horses and oxen to clear the land and plow their fields. In the 1920s, the invention of fuel powered tractors and threshing machines made it possible to produce more food and do the same amount of work in a lot less time.

Modern farms rely on scientific research and developments in technology to grow crops and raise animals. Farmers consider which developments and technologies would be most beneficial for their crops and animals.

  • Between 2011 and 2013, about half of Canadian farms had adopted at least one type of new or improved farming process or practice.
  • By 2015, over half – 56 percent – of Canadian farms were using computers or laptops to manage their farms and almost half – about 43 percent – were using smartphones or tablets.
  • By 2015, almost half – 43 percent – of poultry and egg farms used automated controls to house their animals, and over half – 54 percent – of hog and pig farms used automated animal feeding.
  • By 2015, almost 10 percent of dairy farms were using robotic milking systems. And almost 18 percent of dairy farms with more milk cows were using robotic milking systems.

What statistics can you identify in the two infographics below? What evidence of change can you describe?

 

How do you think the statistics and evidence of change you see can be examples of trends?

 

 

Source: Infographic from Statistics Canada (2017). 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture.

 

 

Source: Infographic from Alberta Milk.