Agriculture in Algoma

Agriculture in Algoma (Powerline Films)

Farming in Algoma

Farming within Algoma has a rich history and tradition. The Canadian Pacific Railroad brought an influx of settlers into the area in 1887. Farming consisted of predominantly livestock (dairy and beef), vegetable crops, grains, and hay; these commodities are still the backbone of Algoma agriculture.

Agriculture has had its challenges including changes to regulations, which led to a decline in dairy producers. High equipment, fuel, and transportation costs made farming within Algoma difficult. The bovine spongiform ensephalophathy (BSE) crisis and the closure of the US border in 2003 contributed to a reduction in beef producers within the District. In 1981 there were 490 census farms and in 2011 there were 317 census farms.

A migration of new farmers to Algoma started in the early 2000s as a result of limited farm expansion opportunities and rising land prices in southern Ontario. This has resulted in some of the abandoned and underused agricultural land coming back into production.

There are many and diverse opportunities:

  • a growing “buy local” movement encouraging vegetable/fruit production and value-added products
  • improved crop genetics and production technologies enable a wider range of field crops to be grown
  • provincially low land prices and a cool climate continue to promote forage crops and livestock production  
2011 Farm Census Data Land Use

2011 Farm Census Data Land Use

Click on chart to enlarge

Did you know?

  • On average, Algoma’s growing season is 183 days
  • 60% of census farmland in the district is used to produce feed for livestock
  • Over 15% of maple syrup produced in Ontario comes from Algoma

OMAFRA Statistics – Northern Ontario and Algoma District (2011)

 

Maps of Algoma’s Agriculture Sector

Plant Hardiness of Algoma

Much of Algoma’s agricultural lands are in the 4b plant hardiness zone, suitable for produce and hardy fruit varieties.

 

For more information about farming in northern Ontario, visit farmnorth.com