Farming in New Brunswick

The farm Census was released yesterday. New Brunswick’s 8.5% drop in the number of farms from 2001 to 2006 was the third worst decline among the provinces in Canada. I don’t have time to dig deeper to assess the health of the farm sector in New Brunswick.

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0 Responses to Farming in New Brunswick

  1. Broadcastnb says:

    I did a blog on that, I’ll post it here:

    More bad news for farmers and the those who get their food from them. The number of farms, according to the 2006 census continues its overall decline. The number of farmers dropped fastest in Newfoundland and Saskatchewan. However, the amount of farm LAND remained the same, meaning that farms continue to be centralized in fewer and fewer hands.

    “The census counted 229,373 census farms as of May 16, 2006, down 7.1% or 17,550 from 2001. At the same time, it counted 327,060 farm operators, a 5.5% decline, the equivalent of 19,140 people. Just over one-quarter (27.8%) of farm operators were women in 2006, up slightly from 26.3% five years earlier.”

    Field crops are still the most common, however, the money continues to be be in the animal husbandry side of things, led by piggies, and then hens and eggs. The vast majority of farms (65%) operate with earned income under $100,000. Meanwhile, 17% were in the 100 grand to 250 range, while 14% were in the 250 to 1 million range. The remainder were ‘millionaire farms’, a number that also continues to grow.

    Showing that the farming sector is made of many different sectores, small farms continue to struggle with only 30% of farms earning $25,000 or under made enough to cover expenses. Nearly 80% of the million dollar farms cover their expenses.

    Canada continues to be one of the most urbanized nations, with 2/3 its population within 33 CMA’s. 15% of farms have their headquarters within one of these urban centres, yet they are typically the smaller farms.


    2,776 farms in New Brunswick, an 8.5% decrease during the past five years. This is slightly higher than the 7.1% decrease at the national level. On Census Day, there were 629 fewer farms in New Brunswick compared to 1996.

    New Brunswick reported 3,695 farm operators, a 5.1% decline from 2001.

    Total gross farm receipts were $493.8 million in 2005, while operating expenses reached $423.0 million.

    Government-funded program payments contributed significantly to gross farm receipts. Farmers themselves contribute to many of these programs by paying premiums much like any insurance plan. According to Statistics Canada data on direct program payments to agriculture producers, in 2000 for New Brunswick, 1.3% of receipts were from program payments; by 2005 the proportion had grown to 8.1%. The actual value of these payments increased from $5.6 million to $40.1 million (in current dollars) during this period.

    Overall, improved efficiency, increased program payments, and higher production have helped to keep the ratios between expenses and receipts relatively stable. New Brunswick’s operators were spending an average of 86 cents in expenses (excluding depreciation) for every dollar of receipts in 2005, the same as in 2000.

    The number of farms with less than $250,000 (at 2005 constant prices) of gross farm receipts declined by 10.0% between censuses and those with $250,000 or more (at 2005 constant prices) also decreased by 0.4%. There were 474 of these larger farms in New Brunswick in 2006, and while they only represented 17.1% of farms in the province, they accounted for 83.3% of total provincial gross farm receipts reported for the year 2005.

    For the first time, farmers were able to report on their census forms the status of organic products grown or raised. Of the 239 farms reporting organic products in New Brunswick, 17.6% produced certified organic products, less than 1% were in transition to becoming certified and 82.0% produced organic products but were not certified by a Certifying Agency.
    Of New Brunswick’s 3,695 farm operators in 2006, 20.8% were women, up from 18.0% five years earlier. Nationally, 27.8% of farm operators in 2006 were women.

    * New Brunswick is the third largest producer of potatoes in Canada, after Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. Between 2001 and 2006, potato area in the province increased 2.6% to 59,870 acres.
    * New Brunswick experienced a 269.5% increase in corn grown for grain in the province. The total area went from 1,182 acres in 2001 to 4,368 acres in 2006.
    * Fall rye area more than doubled between 2001 and 2006, increasing from 546 acres to 1,194 acres.
    * Canola has been a growing interest to producers in New Brunswick. The crop has increased 84.2%, with total acreage changing from 481 in 2001 to 886 in 2006.
    * Soybeans are another crop on the increase. New Brunswick experienced a 132.6% increase in soybeans increasing from 810 acres to 1,884 acres.
    * While New Brunswick contributes only a small portion to Canada’s vegetable sector, carrot area has increased in the province from 59 acres in 2001, to 231 acres in 2006.
    * An increase of 74.6% was seen in sod area in the province between 2001 and 2006. Total area increased from 729 acres to 1,273 acres.
    * New Brunswick ranks second in Canada for maple taps. New Brunswick experienced an increase of 29.1% from 1.3 million maple taps in 2001 to 1.7 million in 2006.
    * Llama and alpaca numbers have increased throughout Canada and New Brunswick follows this trend. In 2006, 204 llamas and alpacas were reported in New Brunswick up from 15 head five years earlier.
    * The fur industry has seen some positive changes in New Brunswick. The province’s mink population has increased 74.8% since 2001 to 46,825 mink. The fox population has increased 59.3% to a total of 2,327 foxes.
    * In New Brunswick, no-till methods were used on 5.1% of the land prepared for seeding in 2006, up from 3.0% in 2001. Conventional tillage fell to 78.0% of land prepared for seeding, from 82.2% five years earlier. Conservation tillage was used on 16.9% of the land prepared for seeding, compared to 14.8% of land in 2001.
    * In 2006, 139 farms in New Brunswick reported farm-related injuries that required medical attention in the year prior to the census. Injuries were reported on 5.0% of New Brunswick farms, compared to 6.0% of all farms in Canada.
    * About 42.2% of all operations in New Brunswick reported using a computer for farm business in 2006, compared to 33.6% of operations in 2001

    Source: Statistics Canada

  2. David Campbell says:

    Thanks broadcastnb.