Thursday, September 14, 2017

Census results show less farmland, but more revenue from farming in Metro Vancouver

Statistics Canada has been steadily releasing results from the 2016 Census. The Metro Vancouver Regional District has been providing regional insights based on this current census data. Metro Vancouver staff have recently presented information from the Census of Agriculture.

The following infographics provide an overview of the agricultural sector in our region.

Farming in Metro Vancouver Infographic – Land and Revenue

Farming in Metro Vancouver Infographic – Crops and Livestock

Close to a billion dollars, 26% of BC gross annual farm receipts, is generated from 1.5% of the agricultural land in our province. Metro Vancouver farmland in highly productive. The following table shows gross annual farm receipts by municipality.

Gross Annual Farm Receipt, 1995 - 2015. Select table to enable.

The Township of Langley, Delta, and Surrey are responsible for 80% of farming revenue in our region which has been growing steadily over the last 15 years. Farming revenue has been declining in Maple Ridge likely due to urbanization. It is interesting to see the growth in urban agriculture in the City of Vancouver.

Gross Annual Farm Receipts per Hectare. Select table to enlarge.

Both the City of Vancouver and Burnaby have the highest revenue per hectare. While they have the highest revenue per hectare, the Township of Langley is still the farming capital of Metro Vancouver.

Of further note is that the average age of farm operators is continuing to increase while the number of farm operators continues to decrease. This shows that there is a limited number of next-generation people who will be able to continue with farming. Automation will likely be what carries farming forward in our region.

Metro Vancouver total farm area is at the lowest level in over 20 years, but the farm receipt revenue generated from that land is at its highest.

Total Farm Area, 1996 - 2016. Select table to enlarge

For more information, please view the Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Committee agenda from September 8.

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