Where Is Agriculture In Canada

Agriculture plays a vital role in the Canadian economy. It accounts for up to 6.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and employs more than 2.3 million people. Canada’s agricultural sector has benefitted from free-trade agreements and good weather, and currently is one of the largest agricultural exporters in the world, making up approximately 19 percent of the global agricultural exports in 2018. Agriculture has been present in Canada since the start of human habitation. Its development over time has been strongly tied to the geographical areas in which it is located and the type of land it is used to produce the produce. Agriculture in Canada is mainly divided into two categories: crop and livestock production. Livestock production is nearly three-quarters of the total agricultural output. In 2019, Canada exported over 49 billion grains of wheat, barley, corn and oils and seeds. Canada is also the largest exporter of beef and veal, pork, and turkey meat.

Growth of Agriculture in Canada

Canadian agriculture has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, with output now exceeding all of its pre-recession levels. Agriculture has been the second-largest contributor to economic growth in Canada in 2017, behind only oil and gas. Employing more than 2.3 million people, the majority of who were farmers, the sector pumps billions of dollars into the economy each year. The growth of the agricultural sector in Canada was mostly driven by the expansion of crop cultivation and the increase in production of high-value crops like fruits, vegetables and nuts. The growth in livestock and poultry production also played a significant role.

Agricultural Products in Canada

The major crops produced in Canada are wheat, barley, and oats, along with fruits and vegetables. The Prairies and parts of Ontario are the main sources of Canada’s grain production. Canola, followed by wheat, is Canada’s most important agricultural export. Canada is also the world’s primary exporter of pulses such as peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. In addition, the country is a leader in the production of maple syrup, fruits, and vegetables. The livestock sector is a major component of the national economy, with beef, veal, pork and poultry being the four major meat products. Dairy products, which consist of milk, cheese, and ice cream, are also an important part of the national agricultural industry.

Agricultural Innovations and Technology

Innovations and technology have been integral to the development of Canadian agriculture. Over the years, new methods of farming and new types of equipment have been developed to improve production yields and reduce costs. Precision agriculture, which uses technology to improve the accuracy of decision-making, has become increasingly important in Canadian agriculture. Technology has allowed farmers to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve the quality of products. Canada has also experienced a great increase in agricultural biotechnology over the past decade, with research being done on genetically modified organisms and other forms of biotechnology to enhance the productivity of crop and livestock production.

Environmental Impact of Agriculture

Agriculture in Canada is relatively safe in terms of environmental impact, but it does cause some problems. Canadian agricultural activities release the greenhouse gas emissions methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, and runoff from fertilizer and other chemicals into water systems can cause pollution and algae blooms. Overgrazing can also lead to soil erosion and loss of biodiversity. Governments have put in place regulations to minimize the environmental impact of agricultural activities, such as restricting clear cutting, limiting fertilizer use, and regulating animal waste management.

Agricultural Trade and Exports

Export income is a vital part of the Canadian agricultural sector, with the majority of exports coming from grains and oilseeds, livestock and poultry, and dairy products. Canada is the world’s third-largest wheat exporter and the largest exporter of beef and veal, pork, and turkey meat. Much of Canada’s trade is done with the United States, but the country does export some agricultural products to countries such as Japan, China and India. Canada also has various Free Trade Agreements with other countries and is actively pursuing agreements with countries in the Pacific Rim, Africa, and South America.

Agricultural Support and Subsidies

The government of Canada provides financial and other forms of support for the agricultural industry. This includes tax incentives, research and development grants, and subsidies for agricultural products. Government agricultural subsidies are meant to support and encourage farmers in Canada to produce high-quality products that are attractive to the marketplace. Subsidies are also aimed at helping farmers adjust to fluctuations in weather, fluctuations in the marketplace, and changes in the economy. Subsidies have helped to ensure the survival and prosperity of the agricultural sector in Canada.

Conventional and Organic Agriculture

There are two types of agriculture in Canada; conventional and organic. In conventional farming, synthetic fertilizers, chemical herbicides, and pesticides are often used to increase output. Organic farming occurs without the use of these chemicals, relying instead on natural fertility and pest control methods. Certification programs and labeling requirements exist to differentiate between conventional and organic food, so that consumers know what they are buying and eating. In Canada, over 6,000 farms are certified organic, with the majority of them in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.

Agricultural Education and Workforce

Agricultural education is critical for the continued success and sustainability of Canada’s agricultural sector. Universities and colleges offer a variety of programs in agricultural sciences and engineering, animal sciences, agronomy, horticulture and plant sciences, food production and safety, and business, to name a few. A variety of organizations throughout the country provide resources and support for those working in the agricultural industry, such as technical schools, conferences and seminars, research centers, and trade organizations. The agricultural workforce in Canada is highly skilled and experienced, with the majority of workers being over the age of 45.

Organic Markets and Regulations

Organic products have become more popular in recent years and are now widely available in stores and through online retailers. The demand has led to increased regulations on organic production, such as the requirement of organic certification labels, traceability standards and certification programs. Canada also has the Canadian Organic Regime, which is a framework for the regulations and standards applicable to organic production and labeling of products. This ensures that organic products are produced and labeled in compliance with the standards and regulations for organic production in Canada.


Agriculture is an important part of Canada’s economy, contributing billions of dollars to the national GDP and providing employment for millions of Canadians. Through the use of technology and agricultural innovations, the sector has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Government support, subsidies, and regulations have helped further the development of a strong and sustainable agricultural industry. As consumer demand for organically produced food continues to grow, the industry will have to adapt to the changing market. Ultimately, agriculture in Canada continues to be an important part of the country’s economy and is a source of employment and food production for millions of Canadians.

Eduardo Villanueva is an expert on agricultural sciences, with decades of experience in the field. With a passion for teaching others, Eduardo has written extensively about topics related to sustainable agriculture and food security. His work aims to empower rural farmers and promote responsible farming practices that help preserve the environment for future generations. A dedicated family man, Eduardo lives in central Mexico with his wife and children. He is always looking for ways to connect people and knowledge to create positive changes in their local communities.

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