Less of northern Ontario is being used to grow food than five years ago, according to new numbers out today from the 2016 census.

The amount of farmland in the region dropped by about 20,000 acres since 2011 to 340,293.

But a few specific regions actually saw more land being farmed, including an increase of about 2,000 acres in Temiskaming— which has the most in the north at 116,725 acres— and about 1,200 more acres being cultivated in the rural areas surrounding Greater Sudbury.

There are also about 200 fewer farms in northern Ontario than five years and about 300 fewer farmers than from the last census of agriculture in 2011.

Farmers themselves are continuing to get older, along with the population in general, with the average age in the north up to 54.7, just below the national average of 55.