Alberta agriculture shines ‘during these tough times’

Government touts record crop production, rebound in cattle sector, and food processing

The provincial governments says “record crops and strengthened cattle prices are leading Alberta’s economic recovery.”

“Crop yields are estimated to hit a new record high in Alberta with farmers harvesting more than seven per cent above what is normal,” the government said in a news release. “Livestock market sales are estimated to also reach a new record high of $6.9 billion. The food processing sector in the province is also expected to hit a new record with products totalling $14.8 billion.”

The news release does note that crop producers in the north have been hit by cool, wet weather and will see lower yields, while livestock producers had “a rough spring.”

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But “Alberta’s agriculture sector is an economic highlight during these tough times,” Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen said in the release.

“We continue to see stable cattle markets following the disruption earlier this year due to COVID-19, and hope to see prices hold steady through the fall,” added Kelly Smith-Fraser, chair of Alberta Beef Producers.

“Alberta’s processing sector continues to see consistent flow of production and strong capacity, due in large part to the hard-working plant employees.”

The release states the food processing sector is expected to “generate more than $1.4 billion in new investment and create thousands of new jobs” and the government also expects to see increased exports in both commodities and processed foods.

It also says that food and beverage processing is the province’s second-largest manufacturing industry (accounting for 20.8 per cent of provincial manufacturing sales) and employs 28,000 Albertans.

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