Central Alberta Agriculture

Agriculture & Agri-Foods

Alberta has one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies, with a total farm area of 50.5 million acres or 20.4 million hectares used for crop and livestock production.

Central Alberta is the province’s second largest agricultural region.

Central Alberta offers the most competitive operating environment for this industry in all of Western Canada; with an over 3% operating cost advantage compared to the U.S.

Located to Grow

Central Alberta’s agri-business sector includes livestock, plant, food processing, natural health products and biofuels. Because of our access to low-cost supplies, fertile black soil and favourable climate conditions, we are a thriving centre for agricultural processing with tremendous growth opportunities.

In addition to a long history of agriculture in the region and our rich arable land, we also offer attractive incentive programs for agri-food businesses and the most competitive operating environment for this industry in all of Western Canada – with an over 3% operating cost advantage to the U.S.

Processing Operations

We are home to over 300 agricultural processors and almost one-third of the province’s feed manufacturers.

There are over 20 meat processing facilities – including the largest pork processing facility in the province and Alberta’s only federally inspected processing facility for lamb – and 3 major agri-food research centres in the region. Local facilities produce and distribute: malting and brewing supplies, ethanol and bio-fuel, premium livestock and pet feed, and premium meats developed exclusively to international preferences.

Major Employers in

Agriculture & Agri-Foods

Central Alberta Agri-Foods

Key Facts

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Central Alberta produces over 24% of Alberta’s barley

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Over 41% of all dairy cows are located in Central Alberta

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International exports for agri-food products increased 14% from 2011

  • In 2010, our top five agri-food exports were wheat, beef, canola seed, cattle and pork. Top destinations for these exports were the United States ($3 billion), China ($1.6 billion), and Japan ($1.3 billion).
  • We are Canada’s largest producer of cattle, hogs and poultry, accounting for over 19% of Alberta’s total market value of $970 million.
  • Central Alberta produces over 24% of Alberta’s barley, 15% of the canola, 16% of the alfalfa and 13% of the wheat crops.
  • Meat snacks, replacement products, protein concentrates and pet food ingredients are prime candidates for investment in the region.
  • Accelerated growth is anticipated in bio-lubricants, composite materials and biofuels.
  • Alberta is Canada’s second largest exporter of agri-food products with 20.7% of Canada’s total agri-food exports headed to the U.S., Australia, Japan and China.
  • We are home to Agri-Trade Equipment Exposition, Western Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor agriculture exhibition.
  • Alberta’s primary agriculture GDP was $3.7 billion, with crop and livestock production accounting for $3.6 billion.
  • International exports for agri-food products reach $9.2 billion, an increase of 14% from 2011.
  • Alberta’s food processing sector’s GDP grew by 13% to $2.3 billion over the past 10 years. Employment in the same time increased from 1,7000 to 2,370 jobs.
  • The value of Central Alberta’s livestock is over $775 million.
  • Over 41% of all dairy cows are located in Central Alberta.
  • The average farm size is 785 acres.
  • The region’s 9,100 farms cover 7.1 million acres.
  • Farm receipts valued $1.99 billion in 2011, an increase of 14% from 2005.

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