OTTAWA, May 10 (UPI) -- The number of farms in Canada, the world's second-largest country, is in decline, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.
In its 2011 farm census data comparing numbers between 2006 and 2011, the agency found a decline of 23,643 farms, or 10.3 percent, of the previous number of farms from 2006.
The agency said there was a "trend to consolidation" as larger farming operations absorbed smaller farms.
"Between 2006 and 2011, the average size of Canadian farms increased 6.9 percent from 728 acres to 778 acres," StatsCan said.
Oilseed and grain farms reported $18.2 billion in gross farm receipts in 2010, up 49.5 percent from 2005. Those farms accounted for 35.7 percent of total agriculture receipts in 2010, the report said.
"Beef farms came second with $7.3 billion in gross farm receipts in 2010, 14.3 percent of the total," the report said.
Overhead expenses were significant in the census.
"For every dollar of receipts in 2010, Canadian farmers had an average of 83 cents in expenses," the report said.