Need help?

The Census of Agriculture Help Line operates between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday to Friday until the end of October 2011. If you have any questions, need assistance in completing your questionnaire, or require extra forms, call 1-855-828-8956.

Who should fill out the Census of Agriculture questionnaire?

Any of the persons responsible for operating a farm or an agricultural operation should fill in a Census of Agriculture questionnaire.

What is an agricultural operation?

An agricultural operation produces at least one of the following products intended for sale. (It is not necessary to have had sales in the past 12 months.)

  • Crops (hay, field crops, tree fruits or nuts, berries or grapes, vegetables, seed)
  • Livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, game animals, other livestock)
  • Poultry (hens, chickens, turkeys, chicks, game birds, other poultry)
  • Animal products (milk or cream, eggs, wool, fur, meat)
  • Other agricultural products (Christmas trees, sod, greenhouse or nursery products, mushrooms, honey or bees, maple syrup products)

How long will it take?

  • The questionnaire has 16 pages, but farmers need only complete those portions that apply to their operation.
  • On average, in 2006 respondents had to fill out 20% of the questions.
  • Although the time required varies by the type and the complexity of the farm operation, on average it takes 45 to 60 minutes to complete the form.

Statistics Canada takes all possible measures to reduce response burden such as providing a help line, giving the option of completing the questionnaire on paper, by telephone or on the Internet, etc.

What records will be useful in filling out your Census of Agriculture questionnaire?

The following records may save you time:

  • property tax statements
  • 2010 income tax forms
  • crop management and herd management records
  • account books or computerized farm accounts
  • financial statements prepared for lending institutions
  • Canadian Wheat Board Producers' Permit Books
  • Crop insurance statements.

What's new for the 2011 Census of Agriculture?

Many questions on the 2011 questionnaire were modified slightly from the 2006 questionnaire and are described in detail in the frequently asked questions. Some highlights are:

  • Business Number: A question has been added to request the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number for the agricultural operation. In addition, a brief explanation of the intent of this question has been added to the back cover of the questionnaire. Using this data, a pilot project will evaluate the feasibility of replacing the financial information asked in Step 32 with CRA tax data, which could significantly reduce the response burden for farmers.
  • Paid work: The number of employees working full or part time has been added in order to provide a measure of the number of people working on farms. This will significantly add to the picture of agricultural labour when coupled with the established questions on the number of hours or weeks of paid work on farms.
  • Crop residue: A new step has been added to request the area from which crop residue was baled. This is an environmentally relevant question, as crop residue management affects erosion rates, contamination of surface and groundwater, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon sequestration.
  • Practices and land features: Two new questions have been added to identify agricultural operations involved in “in-field winter grazing or feeding” and “nutrient management planning.” These questions will provide more comprehensive data on farmers' adoption of environmental management techniques.
  • Internet: A question on access to high-speed Internet has been added in order to evaluate the accessibility of respondents to services provided by Internet. This will assist agriculture service providers in the public and private sectors in planning service delivery to farmers.
  • Farm-related injuries: These questions were removed because better quality data are available from alternative sources.
  • Organic but not certified: This category was removed in order to reflect the new regulations on the use of the term “organic.”

The law protects what you tell us

The confidentiality of your Census of Agriculture form is protected by law. Only Statistics Canada employees who work with census data and have taken an oath of secrecy will see your form.

You can ask to see the information you provided on your 2011 Census of Agriculture questionnaire after November 2011. To do so, write to the Privacy Co-ordinator, Statistics Canada, 25th Floor, R.H. Coats Building, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6.

Do you have to fill in the Census of Agriculture questionnaire?

Yes. Completion of the questionnaire is mandatory under the Statistics Act.

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