23rd of February is celebrated to appreciate the farmers as well as farming in Canada. No doubt, Canada is one of the top Global food-exporting countries. It is considered one of the major agricultural powerhouses of the entire world.
It is because of the exceptionally advanced and sophisticated methods used for farming in Canada. They have gone too far in utilizing the best their soils offer. From the hustling canola fields of Saskatchewan to the rushing poultry farms of Ontario, the Canadian farms have served as a prime source of foods for the entire Northern America. This article will provide you all the basic details about farming in Canada. Let us know about the Canadian farms and farming.
Farmlands of Canda
Canada utilizes a small portion of its land for farming. This is because only those lands are suitable for farming according to soil type, location, and topography. The number of Canadian farms has decreased over the years, but the average size of a single farm has increased. An average Canadian farm has an area of more than 3 kilometers square (800 acres).
The Canadian farms are widely settled in the Prairie regions of Canada, i.e., Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba. Huge production of canola, lentils, and durum wheat from Saskatchewan has made the name of Canadian farms famous. Alberta, with the maximum number of farms, has huge beef cattle operations as well. Manitoba and British Columbia are known for pig farms, potato, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and poultry meat productions.
Ontario, with the highest number of poultry farms, also has the largest cannabis-growing operations as well. Atlantic Canada is responsible for huge potato production as well as livestock. Quebec does not fall behind. It has the highest numbers of cows and dairy farms along with huge production of blueberries.
Canadian Federation of Agriculture divided Canada’s major productions into the following major sectors:
- Oilseeds and grains: Wheat, being a staple crop of Canada, is grown in great quantities. Durum, Spelt, and winter wheat are some of the many varieties of wheat grown in the fields of Canada. Other grains like barley, canola, rye, flax, rapeseed, and oats are also grown in larger quantities.
- Livestock: Raising cows, pigs, sheep, horses, chicken, buffalo, and elk is quite common in Canada. Domestication of various farm animals refers to animal husbandry, meat processing, and feedlots.
- Dairy farming: Milk products and production operations is restricted in Canada to a smaller extent. But still, it manages to produce quite a hefty amount of milk products every year.
- Horticulture: Horticulture refers to the monitored-growing of crops within a nursery. Fruits like plums, pears, apples, peaches, apricots, and many more are grown in such nurseries to provide to regions like Scotia, Ontario, Okanagan Valley, Quebec, and Nova.
- Poultry & Eggs: Chicken, eggs, fowl, turkeys, ducks, etc., are quite popular in American meals. Therefore, poultry farming in Canada is highly gaining profits and appreciations from other regions.
Let us look at Canada’s position in exporting crops all over the world.
Canada is the largest producer of lentils, rapeseed, and dry pea; the second largest producer of oats and the sixth-largest producer of wheat and barley. It is also estimated that it is the seventh, tenth, and twelfth largest soy, maize, and potato producers, respectively. Other crops like flax, sugar, beet, apple, beans, tomato, chickpeas, carrots, rye, cabbage, onion, blueberry, cranberry, mustard seed, mushroom, and grapes are also grown in the farms of Canada.
Trade And Economy
Farming in Canada has successfully brought advancement in agricultural trade and commerce and at the same time retained its culture and tradition. The farms of Canada export their productions within their province as well to other parts of the world. This has been quite a challenge for them. They have seen the depression of 1882-1897, during which the sales went down drastically. But it did not take many years to evolve out of the depression. Now they are feeding surplus amounts of foods not only to North America but also to other nations as well.
The true Canadian farmers get millions for their crops, livestock, fish, feed, and fiber. About 0.15% of Canada’s gross domestic product price goes to the pockets of farmers. More and more Canadian people want to buy a farm and get their hands on the latest technologically advanced farm equipment for faster and better farming. This is defining more success in the agricultural sector and greater market reach for foreign markets.
Smart Farming in Canada
Bell Farm, Rosthern Experimental Station, and Dominion Experimental Farm started developing advanced farming methods in 1914. The areas of Saskatchewan initially experienced the benefits of the new farming. Due to the industrial revolution (in Europe and the United States), the farming methods evolved from by-hand techniques to mechanized vehicles and technical farming equipment. The farms gradually widened and were fully worked on by machines.
Canadian farms have introduced much technically prosperous farming equipment like soil sensors, moisture sensors, digital equipment for storing satellite data, climate data and data from tractors, and robotics for farming. These are some of the highly advanced farming methods acquired by a few arms only. Let us look at some common machines used in all farms.
Tractors, plows, spreaders are some of the many labor-saving devices used in farms for plowing, spreading seeds, etc. Binders are machines used to cut and bind grains together after the harvest, along with grain elevators for storage purposes. Combined harvesters are exceptionally efficient machines to harvest grains properly. Reaping, threshing, gathering, and winnowing, all these activities are done by this single machine.
Changing Farming Days in Canada
Canada has come a long way in farming. But were there persistent farming methods? If not, then how has farming in Canada changed?
The 1800s had brought quite many challenges for the Canadian farmers. The ‘depression’ and changing climatic conditions were holding the farmers back. But as the times changed, new technologies and more knowledgeable farmers took the agriculture sector of Canada to new heights. Apart from these changing times, the farmers did not completely give away their traditional ways of farming. Till now, there will be farms that are using the old techniques when it is needed.
Top Skills Canadian Farmers Have
In the agriculture sector, Canada has evolved many folds due to the incomparable contribution of their excellent farmers. These farmers have some particular set of skills that have made their farming more effective. Let us take a look at these:
- Crop Science: Buying a farm is easy, but growing the best quality crops the lands can offer is truly difficult. Therefore, the farmers must be well-educated about the soil conditions, climatic conditions, fertilizers, crops they want to grow, and proper farming methods. If the basic science behind farming is not known, then the farmers will face huge losses.
- Practical Skills: You know well about growing crops, but you do not know about operating the farming equipment and machines. All your hard work goes in vain. The proper set of practical skills associated with the machines a farmer wants to use in his farm is highly necessary. Other skills like mechanical repairing, carpentry, etc., are also highly appreciated by the farmers.
- Business Management: A farmer is also responsible for finances, expenses, and gains related to his farm. He has to properly distribute money for buying equipment, fertilizers, other farming supplements and paying his employees. He also has to manage the proper selling of his crops to different markets.
- Marketing: Sowing seeds and harvesting crops is not the job farmers are worried about. They are also worried about selling their crops at a reasonable price. They have to connect with the marketers and set a fair price on their crops.
- Animal Care: Domestication of various animals can give the required boost as a farmer. But the animals require proper care so that the farmers can get the best out of their animals. The animals should be properly fed and given medicines if needed, and they should be kept in a clean environment.
Buying a Farm in Canada
Buying a farm in Canada is not a tough job, but before buying a farm, people need to learn about the basics of farming. If you are an aspiring Canadian farmer, then you have to know all about this.
The Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture and the Canadian Faculties of Agriculture provide the best education about the farming of the fields of Canada. Proper investment, funding, and insurance on your crops or farm are all taught in the agricultural universities of Canada. Farmers have to properly learn about farming machines and other resources before investing their money and time in a farm.
Canada is a world leader in the agriculture sector. Farming in Canada has brought several benefits to North America and other nations as well. The advancement in farming techniques and fervid farmers who surmounted the challenges confidently have made extraordinary changes in the world of farming. If you ever visit Canada, take out a few hours from your day and learn about their exceptional farming.