Organic Agriculture in the Prairies – 2017 Data

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New Report Highlights Growth in Organic Operations and Acreage Across the Prairies

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative commissioned the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) to publish the fourth report on organic operations and acreage in the Prairies. This 2017 data report contains information and statistics on organic operations, acreage, and market growth in the Prairies. Furthermore, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the organic operations and acreage of each Prairie province.

“This report highlights the continued strong growth in organic production across the Prairies, which is driven by continually increasing demand.” says Becky Lipton, program director for the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. “The growth is in almost every commodity and shows a continuation of a trend that began back in 2014 and does not show signs of slowing.”

Key Findings

  • Over a third of crop producers and 58% of certified organic acreage is found in the Prairie provinces.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, organic acreage in Canada increased from 1.6 to 1.8 million acres.
  • Saskatchewan represents 64% of organic Prairie acreage, followed by Alberta (30%), and Manitoba (6%).
  • Ninety-one percent of Canada’s organic oat acreage is in the Prairies.
  • There has been a steady increase in acreage of dried peas in the Prairies. In 2017, Alberta had 56,300 acres of dried peas, Saskatchewan had 33,700 acres, and in Manitoba there were 1,300 acres.
  • From 2016 to 2017, there was a growth in the number of organic processors in the Prairies. Manitoba had the most pronounced growth from 50 to 70 processors, Saskatchewan grew from 90 to 105, and there was an increase from 80 to 90 processors in Alberta.

The operation and acreage data for this report was voluntarily supplied by certification bodies across Canada and the United States to COTA for analysis and release. COTA and experts in the organic sector conducted secondary research and analysis on the data provided to create this report.

Click here to Read the Report!

About the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is a tri-provincial project dedicated to achieving resiliency and stability in the prairie organic sector by focusing on increasing the quantity and quality of organic grains, and developing relationships across organic market value chains. It is funded in part by Western Economic Diversification Canada.

A partnership between Organic Alberta, SaskOrganics, and Manitoba Organic Alliance, the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is bringing the community together to develop a strong foundation of programs, resources, and relationships upon which the prairie organic sector can truly flourish.

The Initiative focuses on compiling innovative research to create resources for producers that improve best management practices and consequently their resiliency, stability, and profitability. A primary objective is to help farmers increase yields and improve grain quality. The resources train producers to implement best management practices that build soil fertility, manage weeds, and maximize grain quality.

About the Canada Organic Trade Association

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada: representing growers, processors, certifiers, provincial farmers’ associations, importers, exporters, retailers and others throughout the organic value chain. COTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. COTA brings together the diversity of Canada’s organic sector: from farmer and processor to retail, including food products, fibre and textiles, personal care, and emerging sectors such as organic aquaculture.