Grow your Commercial Farm in 2024

Funding programs are available for commercial farms and hobby farms that plan to grow to commercial scale in the next 12 months. A hobby farm is primarily pursued for personal enjoyment, lifestyle, or self-sufficiency. Individuals or families engage in hobby farming as a leisure activity or to produce food for their own consumption. The motivation behind a hobby farm is often the joy of working with the land, raising animals, and cultivating crops without the pressure of turning a profit. If you are unsure if your farm is a hobby farm, please refer to the following differences.

Commercial Farms are Businesses.

A commercial farm operates with the primary objective of generating income. It is a business venture where profitability, efficiency, and productivity are the driving factors. Commercial farmers aim to produce large quantities of agricultural products for sale in local, regional, or international markets. The scale and scope of operations are designed to meet market demands and achieve economic sustainability.

Commercial Farms Require More Land.

Hobby farms are typically small-scale operations. They occupy limited acreage and involve fewer livestock or crops. The focus is on a diverse range of activities rather than intensive production. For instance, a hobby farmer might maintain a vegetable garden, a few fruit trees, some chickens for eggs, and perhaps a couple of goats for milk. The production volume is generally low, catering mainly to the needs of the farmer’s household.

In contrast, commercial farms are large-scale enterprises. They span extensive tracts of land and involve significant capital investment in equipment, infrastructure, and labor. Commercial farms specialize in high-yield production of specific crops or livestock. For example, a commercial corn farm might cover hundreds of acres with the latest agricultural technology to maximize output and efficiency. Some commercial farms are less land intensive, depending on the crops involved.

Commercial Farms Have a Larger Economic Impact.

Hobby farms have minimal economic impact beyond the personal satisfaction and modest local market interactions. They often do not generate significant revenue, and the investment is relatively low. Hobby farmers might spend on basic tools, seeds, and a small-scale irrigation system, but they do not rely on the farm for their primary income. Many hobby farmers have other sources of income, and the farm acts as a supplementary or recreational activity.

On the other hand, commercial farms are integral to the agricultural economy. They contribute substantially to local, national, and global food supplies. The investment in a commercial farm is substantial, covering land acquisition, advanced machinery, labor costs, fertilizers, pesticides, and sophisticated irrigation systems. Commercial farmers often seek loans, subsidies, and insurance to manage the financial risks associated with large-scale farming.

If you already own a Commercial farm, or want to take your hobby farm to the next level and become a Commercial farm we can help you.

Take advantage of the tools available to you to do this. When you are ready to find Government Funding Programs you can access the funding finder here: Farm Grants Funding Finder

Canadian Farm Grants 2024

Summer 2024 Info now available!

Canadian farm grants are funding programs available in Canada to financially support Farmers.

Most importantly, if you are looking for Canadian farm grants you should realize that your farm is a business. Other business grants programs, even government business loans may be available for your farm business. Don’t miss out on the variety of funding programs available to you such as: Farm grants, Farm loans, and Farm Subsidies.

If You are a Canadian farmer looking for funding your first step should be to visit Farm Funding Finder. You will find information for Canadian farm grants as well as farm loans and government funding programs to assist farmers.

The correct framework is to look at funding opportunities for your farm as both a farm and as a business. This way you will maximize your chances of getting a Canadian farm grant or farm loan. After all, a Canadian business grant or a Government Loan may be every bit as useful to your farming business as a farm grant.

Remember that your goal is to grow your farm business.

Take advantage of the tools available to you to do this. When you are ready to find a funding program use the funding finder: Farm Grants Funding Finder

Funding for Farm Upgrades: Grow Your Farm in 2024

Starting or expanding a farm can be a challenge, but is also very rewarding, both financially and in terms of personal satisfaction.

There are many farm grants programs set up to facilitate farm investment and encourage growth.

Farmers regularly apply and receive funding for a variety of business purposes including:

  • Barn construction and upgrades
  • Livestock purchase
  • Seed and fertilizer purchase
  • Tractor and combine purchase or lease
  • Land acquisition and clearing
  • Installation of Irrigation Systems
  • Installation of Tile Drainage
  • Fencing
  • Implementing Technology Upgrades

Farm upgrades can be a great way to drive on-farm productivity in 2023 and for tomorrow.

If you are ready to start or expand a farm, Farm Grants can help find funding. Find funding at:

2024 Farm Grants – Get Started Early

The end of this year is fast approaching; 2024 Will be here soon. Now is the best time for new and existing farmers to ensure that they maximize funding opportunities by applying to any remaining 2021 programs, and getting started early on 2024 programs.

With the harvest season rapidly ending, there is no time better than right now to get any financing, expansion and restructuring plans underway.

Some off-season effort can lead to much better productivity in the growing season. When you are ready to apply for the last 2023 funding programs, and get the 2024 information you need to get a leg up, Farm Grants can help.

Find funding at:

Tips for Winter Greenhouses

Greenhouses are an important way to grow crops outside of the usual growing season and a great way to increase yields. Canada has a unique climate, and as such special care is required when establishing a greenhouse, large or small that will produce a good return for the owner.


Light is required to grow any plant, so choose a material that lets lots of light through. A good rule of thumb is a material that allows at least 70% of light through. Insulation performance will drop as transparency increases. It’s important to balance light transmission with the R-value (the thermal resistance) of the material.


Many greenhouses are transparent on all sides. A cold climate greenhouse may not be fully transparent because conserving heat is a priority. Winter nights are dark and cold and temperatures need to be managed.

Installing windows on the side facing the sun, allows the other sides and the roof to be insulated. The ground underneath the greenhouse should also be insulated. The heat that collects in the earth during the day, shouldn’t be allowed to just disappear out into the ground. The windows themselves can be insulated with removable shades after dark.


Cold climate greenhouses are designed to provide optimal growing conditions during the winter.  As a result, they can get too hot in the summer. It’s important to install proper ventilation into the greenhouse that provides enough ventilation during those hot summer days.

Thermal Mass

Thermal mass will harvest and store the warmth of the sun during the day and release it back at night to heat the greenhouse. This minimizes temperature fluctuations in the greenhouse and will prevent the temperature from dropping during cold nights.

Common materials can provide thermal mass: water, stone, cob, or even the earth itself. Water can be a risky choice because it can freeze, but it’s also one of the most flexible thermal mass materials because you can easily add or remove containers fo water.

There are two ways to take advantage of thermal mass: heating the air or heating the growing beds. The energy required is lower to heat only the growing beds but can be harder to install or modify.

Active Heating

In addition to thermal mass distributing heat, and the rays of the sun working to heat a greenhouse during the day, on cold days and during the night your greenhouse may require additional heat. Often Wood burning solutions or propane heaters can be good choices, as they are equally easy to install in remote areas.


Commercial scale greenhouses are not cheap to build. A solar panel system can have a payback time of years. A four-season greenhouse should be similar in terms of payback time.  Long-term production yield will be higher, as the greenhouse allows longer growing season but also a kind of insurance against weather risks.

When you are ready to expand your greenhouse business or start a new agricultural production facility,

Farm Grants can help.

Contact us now to find out more!

3 Profitable Specialty Crops for Canadian Farmers

Many farmers are looking for a way to produce extra income on the farm. Sometimes adding a small-scale cash crop can help increase farm profits, or even become a major source of on-farm income. Here are 3 crops worth considering as an add-on or main crop for your farm:

Gourmet mushrooms. Mushrooms can be an ideal second crop for Canadian farmers, as they are grown indoors and produce a  high return per square foot. The two gourmet mushrooms varieties with the largest demand are oyster and shiitake. Oyster mushrooms can yield up to 25 pounds per square foot of growing area every year. At an average price of $7 a pound,  a 10 x 10 space can generate $17,500 in a single year. Oyster and shiitake can be dried, or sold fresh, allowing for flexibility in distribution and timing.

Garlic. The 3 types of gourmet garlic can provide a great boost to farm revenue. Rocambole, Purplestripe and Porcelain varieties offer superior flavor and command a premium at retail.  These gourmet varieties can sell for as much as $10 a pound.  In good soil, an acre planted with garlic can yield 15,000 pounds. Garlic is a hearty crop that tolerates a wide range of soil and weather conditions, and that’s why many growers rely on it to provide dependable income year in and year out.

Herbs. The biggest herb demand is for fresh culinary herbs. Growers can supply customers directly at farmer’s markets to maximize revenues. A great way to add value is to package 4 herbs into a  windowsill size herb garden. Dried culinary herbs can also be packaged to sell at the farmer’s market, extending shelf-life. With hundreds of choices, including a broad range of ethnic herbs for serious cooks, growers can focus on mainstream and niche herbs to cater to a variety of clients.

If you are ready to start or expand your farm, can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:

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The top 6 Issues for Farming in 2022

Time marches on, and with it comes changes to what we know about agriculture and the realities of modern farming. In 2022 there are some issues to keep in mind as a potential new or existing farmer:

1. Shifting Farm Demographics. The average Canadian farmer is 57 years old, and a large number are over 65. In the coming years, farm assets will have to be transferred to younger producers. A new generation of farmers needs to be ready to take up the job left for them by the older generation. Farmers of all ages need to be aware of this trend and prepare accordingly. It’s important to have a farm succession plan in place to ensure a smooth transition when it becomes advantageous to do so.

2. Spreading Technology. Software and data will supplement existing knowledge for farmers and will change and improve on-farm practices. Investing in the tools and resources to maximize yields will be an increasing priority for Canada’s Farmers.

3. Continued Implementation of Bio-Technology. Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) are spreading through the marketplace. Although they have been proven to be safe and effective, there are political and public relations issues remaining around them. Farmers need to stay up to date on the news and make wise decisions about what to grow and when.

4. Resource Scarcity. More than 40% of the food production increase since the 1960’s has been accomplished through the use of irrigation. Unfortunately, groundwater supplies are limited.  Improving irrigation efficiency should be a priority on any farm.

5. Public Scrutiny of Livestock Treatment. Consumers are increasingly focused on livestock health and wellbeing. Animals raised with more space and a more natural diet command a premium on the market. Producers and retailers can command an advantage by properly labeling and offering process transparency to consumers.

6. Environmental Concern is Growing. Fertilizer and pesticides have been the focus of many new scientific studies and regulations. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Farmers have to keep up to date on a complex list of changing regulations. With every challenge comes opportunities. The Public’s interest in these issues has created a niche for Organic food produced without pesticide or artificial fertilizer.

As a farmer, there are many issues financial and otherwise facing your business. There are financial programs to help navigate and implement policies relating to many of these issues.

If you are ready to start or expand your farm, Farm Grants can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:

Starting a Pig Farm in 2020

Pigs can be a great choice to start or expand your livestock farm. Pig litters are large,  and the feed-to-meat conversion ratio is better than many other livestock options. Pigs mature quickly and are ready for market sooner than many alternative farm animals.

A farmer raising pigs has to choose a method of farming: intensive or free range. In intensive farming, the pigs are kept in an enclosed area and food and water are brought directly to the animals. Free-range farming implies that the animals are left to move around more, foraging on oats, barley,  and even grass. There are pros and cons to each approach, but either method can lead to a successful livestock business.

In addition to choosing intensive or free-range methods, every pig farmer has to deal with some important questions.

Do you have access to Water?
Water is a priority in all farming, even when raising livestock. Lacking a reliable water supply can lead to productivity loss, disease and even death of livestock. A pig requires between 10 and 50 liters of water per day, depending on the animals age and size.

A  1200 liter tank for every 10 pigs is a good rule of thumb. This allows at least two days worth of water to be kept in reserve, in case of supply problems that require time to repair.

Will you breed or buy Piglets?

A farmer can breed pigs or buy young pigs to grow and sell.  A new pig farmer should probably buy young pigs the first few times, grow them out and sell them before attempting to breed them. Focusing energy on understanding pigs better and to develop production policies will reduce the complexity of the operation. Breeding young pigs, will add additional complexity and difficulties to the task of rearing pigs.

Do you have the Equipment and Facilities?

Pigs require food, water, and protection from the elements. Pigs are powerful animals and need solidly built infrastructure including housing, water troughs and fencing. Pigs are susceptible to several diseases, particularly in intensive farming systems where crowding may be a problem. Facilities need to provide sufficient space to be able to isolate sick animals and decrease chances of illness spreading.

What Feed will you use?

Before buying your first pigs, make sure you can afford to vaccinate and feed them until they are market-ready. Pigs that are raised on lower quality food will grow more slowly and yield less meat. A quality, nutritionally balanced feed will cost more but may provide a better return.

Raising pigs can be a great way to earn more money from an existing farm, or to start a new livestock venture. When you are ready to expand your livestock business or start a new livestock facility,

Farm Grants can help.

 Contact us now to find out more!

Things to Consider When Buying a Farm


When you are considering buying a farm, it’s important to be prepared for some of the hidden challenges that will come up. A lot of things will seem self-evident but here are a few things to consider that may not be:

A good Real-Estate agent will save you time and money

Farm properties are a unique category of real-estate. There are many complex aspects to purchasing a farm that is not involved in the urban real-estate market. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable in farm and rural issues. Getting a good agent in the mix will save you both time and money when you buy a farm.

Availability of local markets

Although you may not sell all of your main production at the local farmer’s market, these types of locations can add a lot of needed cash flow to the small farmer. Having one nearby will allow you to maintain cash flow throughout the year by marketing complimentary items. If you have some crops that appeal directly to end users, you can maximize your margins by selling directly at the market rather than to resellers.

Infrastructure on Property

What sorts of buildings and improvements are on the property? How many of them are useful to you in your farm business plan? Is there infrastructure or buildings that can be adapted to your needs if they don’t already match them currently? If the farm comes with equipment or a stockpile of resources like hay or firewood you may be able to use them to increase your returns.

History of the land and site evaluation

What sorts of crops or livestock were raised on the property previously? Are there any parts of the property that have had different purposes in the past? The current owners may provide information, but consulting with the neighbors may also yield valuable insights about the farm you are buying.

Tax status & zoning

What will your property taxes be? If the land is zoned as farming, you will have to keep it in production in order to keep the lower farm tax rate. If it’s not zoned for farming, you will have to inquire with the local zoning authority how to get the proper zoning approved.

Soil tests

Comprehensive soil tests and profiling will help you prepare for the best crop choices for your new farm. If you are interested in organic production, it would be wise to test your soil for residues and other heavy metals that may inhibit your ability to grow organically. This can be expensive but worth the investment.

Access to Water

If you plan on buying a farm, this is by far the most important resource to consider before you buy a farm. Water rights law is very complex and making sure you understand your rights and usage is extremely critical.  Know if your rights are currently valid and active. What are the water sources on the property?  It is also important to know what year your rights date back to. Senior water rights always get water first. Do you have ponds, creeks, or wells that you are legally able to irrigate from?  What is the drinking water source? If from a well, test your water for metals and other contaminants.

A little bit of planning while you are looking for your new farm property can save big headaches in the long-run. If you are starting or buying a farm, Farm Grants can help you locate the funding to get your farm business going.

Start or expand your farming business now: Farm Grants can help.

Find Funding Now!

Tilapia Farming: Ecological and Profitable

Tilapia is a fish that is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Tilapia is valued by consumers as an ecologically responsible choice that tastes great, having moist, mild-flavored white flesh.

The demand for tilapia fish around the world is growing fast, creating a market for live fish as well as frozen preprocessed filets.

Tilapia multiply and grow quickly, and can be fed a variety of foods. Farmed tilapia are raised in heated tanks, and are generally fed a plant protein based diet. The wastewater from the tanks is often used to grow a plant crop hydroponically, resulting in little to no requirement for waste disposal that would harm the environment.

The combination of raising tilapia and hydroponic plant growth can offer a profitable option for Canadian farmers looking to increase profitability for a given area.

There are some major equipment and structural investments that are required to establish a commercial tilapia farm. Because of cold Canadian winters, and the requirement for warm water, tilapia tanks will best perform in a heated environment.  A greenhouse type structure is a great choice, as it will allow for maximum heating and cooling potential during the various seasons, and will allow for ideal growing conditions for the hydroponically grown plants that make up the other part of the farming operation. The other major equipment consists of tanks, heaters, filters, and pumps used to create and maintain the proper environment to raise the tilapia.

When you are ready to expand your tilapia farming business or start a new fish farming facility,

Farm Grants can help.

Find funding at:

Farm Business Funding Finder