New agriculture census faster and easier for farmers to complete

Agriculture is a critical industry for all Canadians, providing us with a nutritious food supply and healthy local produce.

To help support these efforts, the government collects information with the Census of Agriculture to provide a statistical portrait of our national agricultural and agri-food industry, as well as its farm operators and families.

The 2021 questionnaire will have returning key content for ongoing trend analysis and include new and modified questions to identify emerging agricultural products and changes in the adoption of technologies, direct marketing, succession planning and renewable energy production.

New for the upcoming census, high-quality alternative data sources will be used when possible to reduce the time farmers must spend completing the questionnaire. For example, only those questions that are relevant to each operator's farm will be asked when filling out the online survey. Select questions may be replaced using alternative data sources when available and totals will automatically be calculated.

This approach is part of an ongoing part of Statistics Canada's modernization initiative to move beyond a survey-first approach by replacing traditional surveys with alternative data such as Earth Observation data. This initiative has its goal to reduce the response burden on farmers while continuing to provide the same high quality information that Canadians expect and deserve.

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