western canada 2.odt

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5 Apr 2012
Western Canada
Agricultural sector
This is what brought people into Canada in the first place
They were growing wheat to be shipped back to Great Britain
The federal government worked on a Wheat strain which has a shorter growing season which is
better for this region in Canada
The main thing is that from the mid 20th century onward, we saw a mechanization of farms and a
decrease of people living in rural areas, fewer but larger farms
Fertile zone: soils are very rich, dark-brown, rich black soils. Well suited for growing cereal crops, issues
to think about (soil moisture and growing season) peas and lentils require more moisture (specialty crop)
Around Winnipeg, farmers are growing more specialty crops to serve the market.
Dry Zone: a lot of grain farms and livestock. Some grain farms are actually growing hey and grain for the
animals. Its not that precipitation is lower in this area, its that evaporation is much stronger in this region.
(historically there have been many droughts in this area) they usually put their land in fallow (rest) for
two years. Irrigated land and close access to BC means that Alberta will ship their crops West and south
to the United States. They are growing corn, sugar beets, and potatoes, many vegetables.
Agricultural fringe: growing feed and livestock, hey, short growing season, poor location, greater distance
to my market. Beef is the best price for their location.
Agricultural constraints
Harsh continental climate
early frost
too wet
Distance to Ocean ports (Manitoba and Saskatchewan are isolated)
1995, Cancelation of the Crow Benefit
In 1897, a deal was struck, called the Crow Nest Past Agreement between the CPR and the
Canadian federal government. The CPR was running short on money so they asked the federal
government for help. The government agreed so long as the CPR lowered costs for farmers to
ship their products. This was canceled in 1995.
High cost of shipping grain over long distances by rail given grain prices. With the price of oil
going up, this
decrease in prices for several agricultural products in the late 1990's
increase in the cost for production
Farms in existence 1971-2006
Alberta, decrease in 13,271 farms
Saskatchewan decrease in 32,641 farms
Manitoba decrease in 15,927 farms
The result being that the remaining farms in Western Canada have grown bigger, from 726 Acres on
average in 1971 to 1,425 acres in 2006
Death of the Grain Elevator
they have destroyed over 2000 elevators and replaced with concrete structures
Capitalization of Agriculture
led to fewer but larger farms
decrease in farm employment and spin-offs from farming
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