Farming in Quebec: 20 Facts
Did you know that over 90% of Canada's maple syrup farms are in Quebec? Aside from syrup, Canada's French-speaking province boasts a thriving agriculture industry and produces a diverse range of farming products such as dairy, pork, and blueberries. With its varied landscape and relatively favourable climate, Quebec provides an ideal environment for farming and has become a hub of agricultural innovation in Canada.
From implementing sustainable practices to ensuring food security, Quebec's agriculture industry is constantly evolving. Quebecois farmers are not only feeding their fellow Canadians, but also contributing to the global food supply.
Join us as we explore the rich world of agriculture in Canada's largest province and learn more about farming in Quebec with these 20 fun facts! Also see:
- Wheat Farming in Canada: 15 Facts, History & More!
- Farming in Canada: The Facts (35 Infographics)
- Where Does Your Turkey Dinner Come From?
- Farming in Saskatchewan: 26 Facts
- Farming in Alberta: 30 Facts
- Farming in Manitoba: 27 Facts
20 Facts on Quebec Agriculture
1. Quebec's agricultural sector employs over 56,200 individuals on approximately 29,400 farms throughout the province 
2. In 2021, there were 29,380 farms across Quebec – up 1.6% since the previous census in 2016 
3. Quebec's farm cash receipts soared in 2021, reaching an impressive $10.5 billion -- 9% higher year-over-year 
4. The regions of Montérégie (29.6%), Chaudière-Appalaches (12.3%), Centre-du-Québec (10.8%) and Estrie (8.8%) accounted for 61.5% of all agricultural employment in Quebec in 2021 
5. Quebec's renowned maple farming industry continues to be a leader in the global market, with the province exporting over $568.9 million of maple sugar and syrup in 2021 
6. In 2021, Quebec was home to 91.3% of maple syrup farms in Canada 
7. Quebec remains Canada's leading province for dairy farming, home to 36.4% of all dairy cows in the country as of 2021 
8. Dairy and milk production topped the list of farm revenue sources in Quebec in 2021, contributing 24.5% of total revenues, followed by hog and pig farming at 15.7% 
9. Quebec's top three agricultural commodities by farm cash receipts between 2017-2021 were dairy at $2.5 billion, hogs at $1.5 billion, and poultry at $819 million 
10. Quebec is home to more organic farms than any other Canadian province, with 2,474 farms reporting organic production in 2021 
11. From 2016 to 2021, the number of Quebec farms reporting renewable energy production quadrupled 
12. In 2020, more than 1 in 5 farms in Quebec reported direct sales to consumers 
13. Quebec's dairy farmers produce a staggering 3 billion litres of milk annually – enough to fill roughly 1,200 Olympic size swimming pools each year 
14. Quebec is responsible for producing 50% of the cheese made in Canada, highlighting its reputation as a significant player in the country's dairy industry 
15. Quebec's blueberry farms increased from 71,666 acres in 2016 to 79,091 acres in 2021, showcasing the province's expanding fruit farming industry 
16. Quebec is a major global producer of cranberries, producing over 220 million pounds of the fruit in 2021 and consistently ranking 2nd or 3rd in worldwide production 
17. Quebec's pork industry has 100% of its livestock processed within the province, contributing to the local economy and adding value to the industry 
18. Quebec has more pigs than any other province in Canada, accounting for 29.6% of the national total 
19. Quebec's pork products enjoy global demand, with exports to 80 countries including the United States and Japan 
20. Quebec's pork sector is one of the most sustainable in the world, with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production 25% lower than the world's top 5 pork exporting countries 
Sustainable Farming in Quebec
Quebec's agricultural industry is a source of pride for the province's sustainability goals. For example, the Retribution for Agri-Environmental Practices policy is part of the province's Sustainable Agriculture Plan with a budget of $14 million. Agri-businesses can receive up to $50,000 in grants to help them optimize operations and improve biodiversity. 
Quebec is also a leader in sustainable pig farming initiatives. For example, GHG emissions from pig farming are approximately 25% lower than in the top five pork-exporting countries. Quebec has also made impressive progress in reducing water consumption in pig farming, with levels 45% lower than the top five pork-exporting countries .
Not only does Quebec's commitment to sustainable agriculture benefit the environment, but it also benefits consumers by providing them with high-quality goods. The province's farming sector is not only a vital part of the economy, but is also critical to food security for Canadian families and our trade partners abroad.
Join Us Today
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The world is a better place with responsibly produced natural resources from #Canada pic.twitter.com/Rn71cEslEf— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) March 15, 2023
1 - Government of Canada - Agriculture: Crop production, animal production and aquaculture. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis/job-market-reports/quebec/sectoral-profile-agricultur)
2 - Statistics Canada - Quebec continues to be the main force behind maple, blueberries, cranberries, dairy cows and pigs. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/96-325-x/2021001/article/00005-eng.htm)
3 - Government of Canada -Overview of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/sector/overview)
4 - Les Producteurs de lait du Québec - Profile and impact of milk economy. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://lait.org/en/the-milk-economy/profile-and-impact-of-milk-economy/)
5 - Les Producteurs de lait du Québec - Processing. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://lait.org/en/the-farm-in-action/the-production-scenario/processing/)
6 - Association des producteurs de canneberges du Québec - Quebec Cranberry Statistics. Date accessed: March 2023 (http://www.notrecanneberge.com/Content/Page/Stats)
7 - Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec - Good and Local. Date accessed: March 2023 (https://www.leporcduquebec.com/en/bon-localement/)
8 - QCNA - Quebec farmers can get up to $50K for going green.Date accessed: March 2023 (https://qcna.qc.ca/news/quebec-farmers-can-get-up-to-50k-for-going-green)
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