Saskatchewan is well known as an agricultural powerhouse. Home to more than 40 per cent of Canada's cultivated farmland, it is recognized as one of the most productive farming regions globally!
Farming in Saskatchewan produces a wide range of cereal, meat, dairy and bakery products, and food ingredients. These agricultural products from Canada's prairie province help feed countless people here at home and across the globe.
And with all that farmland comes huge economic benefits. In 2020, for example, Saskatchewan's total agri-food product exports were valued at $16.9 billion, representing nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of our nation's total. Canada's "breadbasket" province is also a leader in agricultural sustainability, more details of which are discussed below.
With more than 37,000 people directly employed by the agricultural sector and tens of thousands more supported indirectly by its activities, it's easy to see why farming is incredibly important to locals. Saskatchewan takes tremendous pride in the sector as seen through wheat in the coat of arms and golden colour used in its flag, representing the vital importance of its farmers.
To give you an idea of just how important farming is to the province and also for Canada in general, here are more than 25+ facts on farming in Saskatchewan for you to check out. Also see:
26 Facts on Farming in Saskatchewan
#1 - At 16.5 million hectares (or 40.7 million acres), Saskatchewan is home to more than 40 per cent of Canada's cultivated farmland and is recognized as one of the most productive farming regions in the world. (Government of Saskatchewan - GoS)
#2 - Saskatchewan's share of the world's export market for the following products in 2020 (GoS):
• Canary seed – 87%
• Lentils – 68%
• Durum wheat – 56%
• Peas and oats – 42%
• Canola seed – 36%
• Mustard seed – 29%
• Canola meal and flaxseed – 26%
#3 - More than 7 per cent of Saskatchewan's workforce (37,500+) is directly employed in the province's agriculture sector. (CAHRC)
#4 - Canada's prairie province is home to more than 34,500 farms and has 6 million hectares of pasture and land dedicated to permanent cover for forage crops. (GoS)
#5 - Canada's "breadbasket" also has an abundant supply of freshwater, covering 5.9 million hectares (14.7 million acres) of land. (GoS)
#6 - In 2020, Saskatchewan's agri-food product exports were valued at $16.9 billion, representing 23 percent of Canada's total agri-food exports. (GoS)
#7 - Saskatchewan's annual revenue from value-added agriculture was $5.5 billion in 2020, up from $2.3 billion in 2004 (GoS)
#8 - Agri-food accounts for more than 55 per cent of Saskatchewan's annual export earnings each year. (GoS)
#9 - Saskatchewan's agriculture sector is a leader in environmental sustainability, as seen through practices such as minimum tillage. (GoS)
#10 - In 1990, Saskatchewan agricultural soils emitted 553,000 tonnes of CO2e. As of 2019, soils were sequestrating almost 8.8 million tonnes of CO2e. (GoS)
#11 - Saskatchewan is the world's top exporter of oats, accounting for 30 per cent of world oat exports. (GoS)
#12 - Saskatchewan accounts for 79 per cent of Canada's durum wheat production. The province leads globally as an exporter of durum wheat, exporting 4.9 million metric tonnes to 39 different countries in 2020. (GoS)
#13 - Saskatchewan leads globally as the number one exporter of canola seed, meal and oil. (SaskCanola)
#14 - Over 50 per cent of all canola grown in Canada is from Saskatchewan, with over 20,000 farmers growing canola in the province. (GoS)
#15 - Saskatchewan is Canada's leading producer of mustard seed, accounting for 63 per cent of Canada's annual production. (GoS)
#16 - Saskatoon berries account for over half of the fruits and berries harvested in Saskatchewan each year. (Statistics Canada)
#17 - Saskatchewan accounts for 78 per cent of Canada's exports of flaxseed (GoS)
#18 - In 2016, 24.9 per cent of farmers in Saskatchewan were women, up from 22.9 per cent in 2011. (Statistics Canada)
#19 - As of 2016, there were 34,523 farms across Saskatchewan. (Statistics Canada)
#20 - As of 2017, there were 66 registered egg farms in Saskatchewan holding 1.5 million laying hens that produce approximately 32-million dozen eggs annually. (GoS)
#21 - More than 300 food processing companies operate in Saskatchewan. They produce cereal, meat, dairy bakery products and much more. (GoS)
#22 - Saskatchewan is home to 165 dairy farms! (SaskMilk)
#23 - In 2019, Saskatchewan produced 9 per cent of all pigs in Canada. As a result, they were the 5th largest producer of pork in the country. (Sask Pork)
#24 - In 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project, which is expected to create 200,000 hectares of new irrigable land. (GoS)
#25 - As of 2016, Saskatchewan is the second largest cattle-producing province in Canada. (Canada Beef)
#26 - Saskatchewan's coat of arms has three gold sheaves of wheat; this represents the province's vital ties to agriculture. The lower gold half of the province's flag represents the southern grain areas. (GoS)
Sustainable Farming in Saskatchewan
Canada's place as a top-five exporter of agricultural products and agri-foods globally means that it has an incredible responsibility to produce these goods sustainably – especially in a world ever-increasingly focussed on environmental outcomes.
Today, Saskatchewan farmers are proud of their dedication to practicing sustainable farming techniques, which include techniques such as regenerative agriculture and livestock farming, zero-till and carbon capture techniques and wetland conservation.
Canadians should be proud of our world-class farmers who are always looking for innovative ways to continually reduce their impacts on the land and animals they tend to!
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