The following piece is from our sister publication, Spud Smart.
More Canadians than ever are using renewable energy and technology on their farms, according to new data from the 2021 Census of Agriculture. There were 11.9 per cent of farms in Canada using renewal energy — more than doubling the rate reported in the previous census. While 50.4 per cent of total farms in Canada reported using at least one type of technology.
The data showed that 7.7 per cent of farms in Canada reported solar energy production, up from 4.5 per cent in the previous census. Solar energy production systems include photovoltaic and thermal systems such as solar panels, solar heating equipment, solar fencing system, and solar water pumps that enhance farm sustainability by reducing water use, pollution, and reliance on fossil fuels. The provinces with farms using the most solar energy were Ontario at 36.3 per cent and Alberta at 24.9 per cent.
In 2021, 1,955 farms in Canada reported wind energy production, up 22.4 per cent from the previous census, the release on the data said. Wind turbines convert kinetic energy from the wind into electricity, which could then be stored and used to operate equipment and other electrical requirements on farms.
The release said that 32 per cent of Canadian farms are using soil tests, 26.8 per cent are using automated guidance steering systems (auto-steer), 23.4 per cent slow-release fertilizer, 16.1 per cent variable-rate input applications, 13.2 per cent Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, 3.6 per cent drones, and 0.2 per cent robotic greenhouse equipment. Farms in higher revenue classes were more likely than farms in lower revenue classes to use technology on their farms.
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