A new agricultural data hub will be launched by Statistics Canada on November 27, 2018. Currently, information such as production, trade, transport, employment are found in various locations across the agency’s website. The hub aims to be a one-stop shop, making data more accessible to Canadians.
At the same time, StatCan is working to link the 2016 census of agriculture with the 2016 population census. It will also be available at the end of November, and it should contain interesting insights into the demographics of Canadian farmers and their households. StatCan says it’s an example of the kind of information ‘product’ it’s working toward, that provides users with more information than if the data is considered separately.
In the meantime, here are some facts and figures from the 2016 agriculture census that will be of interest to fruit and vegetable producers in Canada.
StatCan reports that the area in tree fruits and nuts has dropped by about 50 per cent over the last 40 years, while acreage in berries and grapes more than quadrupled. Mechanized harvesting has allowed operations growing some fruit types, specifically berries, to reduce production costs and labour requirements associated with handpicking.
Total fruit area reported in 2016 was 332,000 acres, an increase of seven per cent since 2011.
The increase in total fruit area can be attributed to an increase in blueberry area. Blueberries accounted for more than half of the total fruit area in Canada (58.9%), an all-time high due to strong demand, particularly for exports. Both fresh and frozen blueberry exports have increased 45 per cent since 2011 to 132 million kilograms in 2016, with the U.S., Japan, and Germany as the largest export destinations.