Indeed, the Leducs’ diverse operation is part of a new breed of family farm. Debt loads are higher these days and the weather always poses a risk, but revenues on many family farms have grown substantially. The Leducs’ gross farm receipts were more than $2-million in 2010, one of 3,298 Canadian farms to hit this top category in the agricultural census, a 22-per-cent increase from 2006. (Expenses chewed up an average of 83 cents on the dollar, according to Statistics Canada.)
The number of $1-million farms grew even more, climbing 37 per cent to 6,304 operations. Two-thirds were family corporations.
When they’re not busy on the farm, Mr. Leduc and his children hit the road together sometimes, looking at fields to buy or scanning for ideas to make their business better. It’s been hard to grow their acreage lately. Competition for farmland is fierce. It is not just food producers who are looking. Investment funds are gobbling up large fields, from Ontario to the Prairies.
One day soon, Mr. Leduc says he will “slowly roll out” and take some time, finally, to travel with his wife. See Europe, maybe. After all, he knows Wanna Make it Farm is in good hands.
Number of farms that reported $1-million or more in gross receipts in 2011, a 31-per-cent increase from 2006.
Percentage of farm revenue that went toward expenses in 2010, down from 86 per cent in 2006.
Number of farms in 2011 - a decline of 23,643, or 10 per cent, from 2006.
Size, in acres, of the average Canadian farm, up 7 per cent from 728 acres in 2006.
Number of acres devoted to canola, the top field crop, a 56-per-cent increase from 2006.
Percentage of producers aged 55 or older, up from 41 per cent in 2006. They represented the largest group of operators for the first time.
Percentage of farmers who worked more than 40 hours a week on their farms in 2010, down from 47 per cent in 2005.
Source: The 2011 Census of Agriculture, Statistics Canada