Farming in Manitoba has a proud and longstanding history. For several centuries before the arrival of the Selkirk settlers, agriculture was practiced by Indigenous Peoples across the province's soil-rich landscapes.
Today, Manitoba is a global leader in sustainable agricultural innovation, production and processing techniques. An example of Manitoba's agricultural leadership is the fact that it, along with Saskatchewan, invented canola!
Not only did farmers in Manitoba partake in creating the canola crop, but they also remain a dominant growing force. In 2020, for example, Manitoba produced 3.2 million tonnes of canola, accounting for 17 per cent of production in Canada.
Manitoba's agriculture sector is a significant economic driver for the province, employing 23,180 people directly as of 2020 and contributing $4.5 billion to the provincial GDP in 2019. And there are no signs this key industry is slowing down any time soon. Manitoba's grain and oilseed sector is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent annually, while the cattle sector is expected to see growth averaging 2.1 per cent per year through 2029.
Just like all other Canadian natural resource sectors, Manitoban farmers are leaders in environmentally-conscious practices. The regional public and private sectors are also working together to ensure tangible climate action solutions are put into action through continued investments in innovative research and development.
Let's champion the hard-working Manitoban farmers for their commitment to putting food on our tables while maintaining a commitment to doing so with the littlest environmental impact possible! Here are several facts on farming in Manitoba that show just how important the province's agriculture industry is for Canadians. Also see:
- Farming in Canada: The Facts (28 Infographics)
- Where Does Your Turkey Dinner Come From?
- Farming in Saskatchewan: 26 Facts
- Farming in Alberta: 30 Facts
27 Facts on Farming in Manitoba
#1 – In 2016, Manitoba was home to 14,791 farms, a 6.8 per cent decline from 15,877 farms in 2011. (Government of Manitoba – GOM).
#2 - In 2019, Manitoba's agriculture and agri-food processing sector generated $11.5 billion in direct sales and contributed $4.5 billion to the provincial GDP, including $1.7 billion in labour income.
#3 – As of 2018, there were 1,865 agribusinesses located in Winnipeg alone. (Economic Development Winnipeg)
#4 - 23,180 people were directly employed through agriculture in Manitoba as of 2020. (Government of Manitoba - GOM)
#5 - Manitoba's agriculture sector totalled $6.6 billion in farm cash receipts in 2019. (GOM)
#6 - The average age of farmers in Manitoba is 53.8 years as of 2016, meaning the province has the second youngest population of farmers in Canada. (GOM)
#7 - Manitoba's grain and oilseed sector will grow by 2.5 per cent per year, and the cattle industry will grow by 2.1 per cent per year through 2029. (CAHRC)
#8 - The pork industry is Manitoba's second most valuable agri-food sector. There are 595 pork farms in the province, processing 8.2 million pigs as of 2020. (GOM)
#9 - Manitoba has the most pigs per farm, with an average herd size of over 5,000 head per farm. (GOM)
#10 - 24 per cent of Canada's total pork production occurs in Manitoba. (Economic Development Winnipeg)
#11 - Canada's largest bacon processing facility is in Manitoba. (GOM)
#12 - There are 156 egg farms and two hatcheries in Manitoba, producing approximately 72.3 million dozen eggs per year. (GOM)
#13 - Not only is the bison a symbol of Manitoba, but the province is also home to the third-largest bison population in the country with 86 farms raising 14,025 bison, according to the most recent data. (Canadian Bison Association)
#14 - Manitoba chicken farms generated $123.1 million in farm receipts in 2020, an increase of 13.7 per cent from 2016. (GOM)
#15 - In 2020, an estimated 88,000 sheep and lamb were in Manitoba. (GOM)
#16 - The canola plant was bred by Dr. Baldur Stefansson and Dr. Keith Downey at the University of Manitoba. (Economic Development Winnipeg)
#17 – Manitoban farmers produced 3.2 million tonnes of canola in 2020. This accounted for 17 per cent of canola production in Canada. (GOM)
#18 - Manitoba is the third largest beef-producing province in Canada, with 404,600 head of cattle as of 2020. (GOM)
#19 - Manitoba's agriculture sector supplies approximately 4 per cent of Canada's dairy products. This supply comes from 263 farms and 11 processing plants. (GOM)
#20 - Farming in Manitoba accounted for 24 per cent of Canada's oat production in 2020, making it one of the leading producers of cereal grains across the nation. (GOM)
#21 - In 2021, more than 224,000 acres of peas were planted through agriculture in Manitoba, with a majority being yellow peas used for food and animal feed. (GOM)
#22 - Manitoba's agriculture scene is a leader, with the largest pea processing facility in the world. (GOM)
#23 - There are 52 turkey farms in Manitoba, bringing approximately 1.4 million turkeys to market annually. (GOM)
#24 - Manitoba agriculture is the second-largest provincial producer of dry beans and accounted for 40 per cent of Canada's production in 2020. (GOM)
#25 - Manitoba exported approximately 4.2 million tonnes of wheat valued at $1.3 billion in 2020. Top export destinations included Indonesia, Japan, China, and Bangladesh. (GOM)
#26 - Following PEI, Manitoba is Canada's second-largest potato producer. (GOM)
#27 - 96 per cent of Manitoba's potato exports and products are sent to the United States. (GOM)
Sustainable Farming in Manitoba
From 2018 to 2023, the Canadian and Manitoban governments have committed to investing $176 million into Manitoba's agriculture sector to ensure that sustainable, profitable, competitive, and innovative farming practices continue. The Canadian government is also pledging $66 million to help Manitoban farmers and others across the prairies to further advance sustainable farming practices and the deployment of cleantech.
There is no doubt that farming in Manitoba, much like the rest of Canada's natural resource sectors, should have the full support of Canadians as a result of our farmers' commitment to sustainable agricultural production. So if you get a chance, make sure to thank someone in the agriculture sector for keeping the grocery stores stocked!
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Canadian lobster exports reached a staggering $3.26 billion last year, beating the previous record of $2.59 billion, set in 2019, by more than 25 per cent. https://t.co/JGnVaIfP7p— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) April 10, 2022
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