By Fadi Didi
Fewer and slightly older Canadian producers are planting more cropland on larger farms and are making relatively stable profits.
That's the general overview of the 2016 Census of Agriculture released yesterday.
Statistics Canada said urbanization is reducing cropland in some areas, but farmers have been converting some land formerly used as pasture, which led to a net increase.
Canola continues to be Canada's most-planted commodity, accounting for more than one-fifth of all cropland.
Agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay talked up the merits of the Canada-EU trade agreement when he spoke at an agri-food trade show in Toronto.
MacAulay says the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement is a historic win for both Canada and the E-U.
He says the agreement will create ``new and exciting opportunities'' for Canadian farmers and agricultural sectors.
Parliament is expected to ratify CETA in the coming months. Once approved, about 90 per cent of the deal would come into force under provisional application.
Canada's federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture have met to discuss the path forward to developing the next agricultural policy framework.
Yesterday's meeting was co-chaired by federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and his Newfoundland counterpart, Steve Crocker.
The meeting was told the various governments have been consulting with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors.
The importance of trade and market development, particularly with the United States, were also discussed.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is welcoming a report released earlier this week by the Standing Senate Committee of Agriculture.
It is recommending a series of policy changes that would increase market access for Canadian agricultural products.
C-F-A president Ron Bonnett says he sees a clear acknowledgement that Canadian farmers are poised to seize on business opportunities presented by an expanding world population and heightened demand for quality products.
He says now there needs to be action on changing the grain transportation systems, regulatory harmonization, and agricultural research.