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The 10 Best Provinces for Agriculture in Canada

The 10 Best Provinces for Agriculture in Canada

Did you know that our beloved great north is responsible for feeding not just its hungry residents, but also exports food to a huge chunk of the world? Yes, sire! 

From the massive canola fields of the prairies, to the sprawling vineyards of British Columbia, and the blueberry farms of Quebec, every province of Canada plays an essential role in harvesting the country’s reputation as a first-rate food producer.

Want to know where your wheat comes from or which place grows the most apples? Well, read on as we’re taking a deep dive into Canada’s best provinces for agriculture. 

Ontario

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Ontario is no slouch when it comes to all things farming. From its green fields in the south all the way up to the clay soils of the north, agriculture is part and parcel of the province’s very identity.

Why do they get the title of the best, you ask? Well, when you’re producing over a quarter of all Canadian farm revenue and you’re topping the charts in corn, soybeans, fruits, and veggies, you’ve earned some bragging rights.

Ontario’s agricultural community is a force to be reckoned with. It employs nearly 820,000 people, making up a whopping 12% of the province’s total jobs. 

Economically, it’s a big slice of the pie, with farming handling over $8 billion and the broader agri-food sector clocking in at a cool $40 billion.

Local tip: When you’re in Ontario, don’t skip the sweet corn; it’s some of the best in Canada!

Quebec

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Moving eastward, we find ourselves in Quebec, home of poutine, tourtière, and the Canadian agricultural cream of the crop: dairy. This province has over 40% of all the dairy farms in Canada, which is unquestionably impressive, eh?

It’s not just the number of farms that matter; the quality matters too, and those Quebec cows are top-notch. They produce over 3 billion litres of milk annually.

The agricultural scene makes quite a splash in Quebec (a pool of over 8 million people, by the way). It employs around half a million people and contributes a solid 8% to the province’s GDP.

Local tip: Economically, it’s safe to say that dairy isn’t the only thing being creamed off the top.

British Columbia

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Make sure you get a taste of the locally produced cheese when you’re cruising around Quebec! BC is the apple of Canada’s agricultural eye, with orchards aplenty and viticulture to boot.

With its ideal climate and rich soil, British Columbia has made its mark as Canada’s leading province for fruit growth. From the Okanagan’s apples to the Fraser Valley’s berries, it paints a delectably colourful picture.

But the real showstopper is the wine! BC’s picturesque vineyards produce world-class vintages that are sipped and savoured globally.

Agriculture is a significant contributor to BC’s economy, adding a juicy $3.5 billion directly and supporting over 61,000 jobs. That’s a lot of seeds sown, eh?

Local tip: If you’re around, don’t forget to explore the vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. 

Alberta

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The plains of Alberta are more than just picturesque landscapes and cowboy tales; they’re the land of liquid gold. Nope, not that liquid gold—we’re talking canola oil, folks! 

With over 50% of the country’s beef cattle and a quarter of all Canadian farms, Alberta’s a meat-and-potatoes kind of province. But canola is where it really shines, with its golden fields stretching as far as the eye can see. 

In fact, it’s the country’s largest canola producer, and let’s not forget the world-class Alberta beef! Furthermore, in Alberta, one in seven jobs is in agriculture; that’s over 77,000 jobs. 

And the industry’s economic value is a mighty $9 billion.

Local tip: Treat yourself to some Alberta beef as they’re worth tasting!

Saskatchewan

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Saskatchewan is a flat place—seriously flat—and for farmers, that’s a good thing! It’s known as the breadbasket of Canada, and rightfully so, as Saskatchewan puts the ‘can’ in Canada’s canola.

This province also raises a serious amount of poultry, pork, and beef. For any bakers, fryers, and BBQers out there, it’s your one-stop province for all things delicious.

The agri-food sector generates nearly $15 billion, giving a boost to the local economy. Jobwise, it’s a treasure trove, employing around 50,000 people.

Local tip: If you’re in Saskatchewan, go out of your way for some artisan bread at a local bakery. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Manitoba

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Manitoba is the third-largest producer of canola in Canada and holds the crown for sunflower seeds. But it’s not all about the seeds; Manitoba’s also home to a thriving beekeeping industry with its sought-after honey.

And when it comes to the economy, the “Keystone Province” buzzes along nicely (pun intended). Agriculture and agri-food have a big hand in shaping the Manitoba economy, with over $5 billion in annual revenue and over 62,000 jobs.

Local tip: If you’re in Manitoba, don’t miss out on their delicious honey—it’s the bee’s knees!

Prince Edward Island

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You know what else is red on PEI (apart from Clifford)? The soil! It’s rich in iron oxide, lending it that iconic red hue and creating ideal conditions for potato cultivation.

With nearly 90,000 acres dedicated to potato farming, it’s no wonder Prince Edward Island is the top spud producer in Canada! Agriculture is not just a way of life here; it’s the backbone of the island’s economy.

Contributing around $585 million and offering over 12,000 jobs, farming and agri-food have made more than a small indentation on this little landmass. PEI and potatoes—truly a match made in heaven!

Local tip: While in PEI, nab yourself a bag of their famous potato chips from a local general store!

Nova Scotia

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Nova Scotia is known for its scenic beauty, ocean views, and, drum roll, please, blueberries! With the sweetest berries bursting off the bushes, it’s no secret that this maritime province is a horticultural haven.

The province is blessed with fertile land, moderate temperatures, and sea-misted air, making it perfect for fruit and vegetable cultivation. 

It’s one of Canada’s major apple producers, but it’s the blueberry that takes the cake, with Nova Scotia being the second-largest producer in the country. Agriculture has deep roots here; it accounts for around $675 million and over 48,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Local tip: If you find yourself in Nova Scotia, be sure to taste their scrumptious wild blueberry pie at a local bakery!

Newfoundland

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Despite a short growing season and cooler temperatures, Newfoundland’s hearty root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and cabbage thrive. The province also holds its own with dairy, poultry, and livestock farms, adding a healthy dose of protein to the local scene.

Though agriculture may not be the largest economic driver here, it still plays an essential role, contributing around $130 million to the economy and providing around 6,000 jobs.

It may not be the breadbasket of Canada, but Newfoundland and Labrador hold their own in our agricultural lineup!

Local tip: While in Newfoundland, warm up with some hearty “Jiggs’ Dinner,” a traditional, belly-filling boiled meal that boasts local root veggies and salted meat.

New Brunswick

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New Brunswick, the land of the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, and wait for it… apples! With a rich maritime heritage, the province also offers a surprising bounty of agricultural delights that may just make your mouth water.

Apple production is a major feather in the province’s farming cap, with orchards scattered throughout the Annapolis Valley and other fertile areas. 

It’s also big on dairy and potatoes, and let’s not forget the seafood—a veritable smorgasbord of ocean delights.

In New Brunswick, agriculture is no small fry. Employing around 32,000 people and pulling in $1.3 billion annually, it’s a significant piece of the economic puzzle.

Local tip: If you have the chance, try a crisp, juicy apple from a New Brunswick farm stand. You won’t be disappointed!
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