The 2021 Census of Agriculture is on the horizon

In May 2021, Canadian farm operators will have the opportunity to take part in a national dialogue by completing the Census of Agriculture questionnaire.

The Census of Agriculture is a source of community-level data on agriculture. By drawing on these data, decision makers will act in the interest of farm operators, farm communities and agricultural sectors across Canada.

Farm organizations are heavy users of census data and draw on this information to formulate policy recommendations, produce communications and outreach activities, and conduct market research.

Measuring an evolving industry over time

After every census, Statistics Canada consults with farm operators, agricultural industry members and data users to assess their data needs.

In the fall of 2017, Statistics Canada conducted a national consultation, and received 132 comments and suggestions from diverse groups, including federal government departments and agencies, provincial government ministries, farming organizations, academics, farm service companies, and consulting firms to help improve the 2021 Census of Agriculture. Statistics Canada is grateful to the agricultural industry for its ongoing feedback and support.

While important adjustments were made to census content based on these consultations, most of the questions in the 2021 Census are identical to those used in 2016. This continuity is important for tracking long-term trends in the industry and meeting the ongoing needs of users and stakeholders.

What's new for the 2021 Census of Agriculture?

Census online: Faster, Easier and Streamlined

Canadian farm operators will receive a letter in May 2021 with instructions on how to complete the census questionnaire online quickly and easily.

The online questionnaire will be efficient for farm operators in a number of ways. It will automatically add totals and will only ask the questions that apply specifically to the operator's farm. This will reduce Statistics Canada's need to call farm operators to clarify their answers.

Lastly, high-quality alternative sources of data will be used wherever possible to reduce response burden.

Getting ready

In the coming months, the Census of Agriculture Program will organize different activities and events with the farming community. This includes a media campaign that explains what's new in the upcoming census and why the census is important.

In accordance with the Statistics Act, farm operators are required to participate in the Census of Agriculture. By the same law, Statistics Canada is required to protect the information provided in Census of Agriculture questionnaires. Privacy is a fundamental component of the census. It is our duty by law.

At the beginning of May, complete your questionnaire and tell your story as part of Canada's farming community!

The content of the 2021 Census of Agriculture was published in the Canada Gazette on July 18th, 2020.

For more information, please visit the census website.

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