Agriculture Value Add

Agriculture is a $10 billion dollar industry in Alberta. Alberta's food processing sector is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the province. In the past five years, over $1 billion has been invested in Alberta by some of the world's top food processing companies; with only 10% of the population, Alberta accounts for 21% of Canada's total farm cash receipts (Src: www.alberta-canada.com). Alberta’s strategic location, transportation infrastructure and extensive and diverse agriculture staples base crop industry are well-positioned to be further leveraged with investment in value-added activity.

Alberta SouthWest has a diverse agricultural sector focused on cattle, grain crops, and horses. Investment opportunities exist in organic foods, horticulture (flowers, bulbs, berry crops, nurseries, specialty crops and processing), food processing, food production, and biofuel.

Highlights  
Number of farms  1811
Total acreage  2,743,961
Cropland  1,128,300
Percentage of Alberta farms  5%
Beef cattle ranching and farming, including feedlots  1043 (5% of Alberta total)
Hog and pig farms  34 (1% of Alberta total)
Oilseed and grain farming  288 (2.3% of Alberta total)
Horse and equine production  163 (10% growth 2001 to 2006)
Cattle and calves  377,000 (6% of Alberta total)
Pigs  129,914
Horses  11,960 (7.7%of Alberta total)
Barley  (422,576 acres)
Wheat  302,000 acres
Alfalfa  181,082 acres
Hay 67,469 acres
Canola 72,490 acres
Oats 31,400 acres
Total farm receipts (2005) $515,045,644 (5% of Alberta total)
Average age of farm operators 53.1 (52 – Alberta)
Market value $4,115,767,146 (72 billion – Alberta)
Source: Agriculture Census, 2006