Ontario has a diversity of types of farming, with grain and oilseed farms being the most common, followed by beef cattle production, dairy, other animal production, and farms growing other crops.
Smaller numbers of Ontario farms produce hogs, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables and potatoes. Read on to see how to become a farmer in Ontario.
How Much Do Farmers Make in Ontario
It is not enough to know how to become a farmer in Ontario, you must consider the earnings before venturing in.
The average pay for a Crop Farmer is $68,797 a year and $33 an hour in Ontario, Canada.
The average salary range for a Crop Farmer is between $49,534 and $82,763. On average, a Less Than HS Degree is the highest level of education for a Crop Farmer.
The Steps on How to Become a Farmer in Ontario
- Step 1: Self Assessment
- Step 2: Decide the type of farming to engage in
- Step 3: Visit Great Farms
- Step 4: Find a Land
- Step 5: Create a Business Plan
- Step 6: Licensing
- Step 7: Source for Funds
Step 1: Self Assessment
Some key self-assessment questions to consider are:
1. What are the main reasons I want to own and/or operate a farm in Ontario?
2. What are the pros and cons of starting a new farm?
3. Do I have the personal and business skills to take on the challenges and opportunities that becoming a farmer will require? Am I willing to seek the necessary advice and skills?
4. Does my personality suit the farming lifestyle that often includes waiting several years to see a return on investment?
5. If necessary, am I prepared to lower my standard of living to start the farm?
6. Am I prepared to work long hours and weekends to make the farm work?
7. How will I handle the seasonality of the work?
8. Is this the right time to start a farm based on my life and on the industry?
9. Have I discussed my farming idea or proposed plan with an advisor and considered any advice?
10. Does my family support my idea and will they support me in becoming a farmer?
Step 2: Decide the type of farming to engage in
Having conducted a satisfactory self-assessment of your abilities and possible limitations in pursuing a farming career in Ontario, the next step is to decide on the type of farming to pursue.
What are the different types of farming?
- Dairy Farming.
- Commercial Farming.
- Plantation Farming.
- Commercial grain farming.
- Commercial mixed farming.
- Primitive subsistence farming.
- Intensive subsistence.
From another angle, you can consider the following:
1. Tree Nursery
A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. Most farmers start with 10 to 20 seedlings on a small acre, and with the right marketing strategy, they would have the baby trees sold out before they mature. You can buy small trees for around $20 each, or raise them from scratch.
Spend some time researching how to organically source the trees you want to grow.
2. Fish Farming
Fish farming is an ideal business idea for investors with available land, and it doesn’t always require a body of water.
You can start a fish farm either by creating fish ponds or investing in fish tanks; it’s a highly scalable business idea.
Once you have the proper knowledge of fish raising, you will be able to decide the type of fish to raise.
Fish such as Tilapia, cod, and catfish are very popular choices because they are quite easy to raise and are generally in high demand.
Other popular varieties of fish that are commercially raised are:
- Grass Carp
- Rainbow and Silver Trout
3. Dual Crop Farming
Dual crop farming or multiple cropping can be either mixed cropping or intercropping. Mixed cropping refers to raising two or more types of crops in the same area while intercropping is raising different crops in close proximity.
Dual crop farming is very popular among farmers because it optimizes the use of equipment, soil, and water as well as farming supplies; it also maximizes the production of a small farm all year-rou
4. Bee Farming
Apiculture or beekeeping often starts as a hobby, and the capital needed to begin is quite low. Beginner beekeepers can start operating a bee farm for $500-$1,000.
With this amount of startup capital, they can sell bee byproducts such as beeswax, bee pollen, royal jelly, and of course, honey, that’s very popular among consumers.
5. Vegetable Landscaping
Starting a landscaping business can be expensive, but farmers who want to opt for a greener path should enter this world of edible landscaping.
This option creates more flexible opportunities so your required startup capital will be considerably lower.
You will mostly be investing in tools to grow vegetables either on freshly tilled soil or in containers. When using pots, remember to purchase the ones that are eight to 12 inches deep; also, space them out evenly, so you can maximize your yield.
These are just a few you could engage in.
Step 3: Visit Great Farms
Go for knowledge and experience by speaking to existing farmers, attending workshops, seminars, and mentorship programs or working as an employee on a farm to gain practical experience.
Talk to local farmers and real estate agents in the area you are looking to purchase land to get an idea of the price per hectare or acre.
Also, do a web search to find out additional information.
These days virtually everything can be learned online including farming. You can visit Youtube channels, Facebook pages, and other online platforms where you can learn to farm from videos released by experts.
These experts own their own farms or studied forming and have become masters in teaching others.
Step 4: Find a Land
To be eligible for the farm tax rate:
MPAC must assess the property as farmland; the property must be used for a farm business; the farm business on your property must have a valid FBR number; and. Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents must own more than 50% of the property.
Step 5: Create a Business Plan
The best way to understand where you want to go in the short and long term is by developing a business plan.
A business plan will also be required if you are going to seek financing for your new farm enterprise from a bank or other lending institution.
A business plan is made up of a: business strategy, marketing plan, production plan, human resources plan, financial plan, and considers social responsibility.
There are available Business and Agricultural courses at some Ontario universities, colleges, and through some industry organizations which include business, marketing or production courses.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade also provides some resources for small and medium enterprises. Invest in educating yourself to determine what will be the core business of your farming operation.
Step 6: Licensing
You may be wondering if you need to register before you can become a farmer in Ontario.
You do not need a farm business registration number to begin farming in Ontario – it depends on your gross farm income once you have enough production to see a return.
Farm businesses that gross more than $7,000 in farm income are required by law to register their business with Agricorp.
Agricorp delivers the Farm Business Registration (FBR) program on behalf of OMAFRA. Farm businesses are required to pay a registration fee and can choose which farm organization they wish to join (exceptions apply).
In addition to managing the collection and disbursement of registration fees, Agricorp collects farm product data to assist the ministry in developing sound public policy.
Step 7: Source for Funds
There is no specific government funding program in Ontario to assist in the establishment of a new farm venture from a capital point of view.
Step 8: START YOUR FARM PROPERLY
Hence, everything is in place it is right that you start cultivating on your farm. Starting a Farm in Ontario contains something for you.
Starting a Farm in Ontario is a concise resource to help you decide whether or not to start a farm.
It provides insight on things to consider before investing in a property. It provides an overview of common farm practices and provides important information and resources to help with your farm business.
Benefits of Farming in Ontario
Windbreaks have year-round benefits, too. When planted around field crops, feedlots, livestock buildings, pastures and calving areas, windbreaks reduce wind speeds and will: increase crop yields and reduce soil erosion. lower animal stresses and improves animal products. Check out this article on becoming a farmer-What You Need to Know.