The Organic Agriculture in the Prairies 2019 Data is published!
The Prairie Organic Development Fund (PODF) commissioned the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) to produce a report on the state of Organic Agriculture in the Prairies (2019 Data). The report, published annually since 2015, is the only resource available that provides an in-depth analysis of the organic operations and acreage across the Prairie provinces. Data are aggregated from CFIA accredited certification bodies that operate in the Prairie region.
The Canadian Prairie represents a significant portion of Canada’s organic production with 80% of all organic field crops, 95% of all organic pulses, 92% of all organic cereal grains and 85% of the nation’s organic hemp crop.
Between 2014 and 2018, Prairie organic farm numbers and acres grew at a significant rate, but growth slowed in 2019. However, organic services and food processing continued on-pace in 2019 with a 9% increase in certified operations over 2018.
- Certified organic operations increased slightly from 1,936 in 2018 to 1,981 in 2019, primarily due to strength in the organic processing and handlers sector (includes primary processing such as seed cleaning, food processing, grain handling, etc.).
- The Prairies continue to be a key contributor to the organic sector in Canada, albeit with a decrease from 56% in 2018 to 50% in 2019 of total certified organic acreage.
- Organic acreage declined from 1.8 million acres in 2018 to 1.7 million acres in 2019.
- The number of organic processors/handlers increased by 25, reaching 293 in 2019.
- 60% percent of Prairie acreage is in Saskatchewan (SK), 32% in Alberta (AB), and seven percent in Manitoba (MB); 55% percent of Prairie producers are in SK, 35% in AB and 10% in MB.
- Overall, there was a decrease of 21,627 field crop acres between 2018 and 2019, with much of that decrease due to declines in wheat (18,400 acres) followed by pulses (14,800 acres). Barley was a bright spot, with over 9,000 additional acres planted in AB (11,344 total).
- Saskatchewan demonstrated the largest acreage decline, with 119,099 fewer acres, followed by Alberta at 6,214 fewer acres. Manitoba was the only Prairie province to post an increase in acreage, with 6,513 acres added.
- The decrease in total acres was primarily due to a loss of 100,320 acres in the pasture forage and natural area category, a decline of 13%
The operation and acreage data for this report was voluntarily supplied by certification bodies 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.
Read prairie statistics from years prior here:
This Market Intelligence report reviews the organic market opportunities available in North America. Over the past decade, the Saskatchewan organic industry has grown significantly. Saskatchewan is home to the largest operations in the prairies. In 2016, Saskatchewan had 839 crop producers, 32 livestock operators, 89 processors and a total of 912 certified organic operations. Saskatchewan has over one million acres of organic land. Growth is attributed to the pasture and forage category (51 per cent), field crops (48 per cent) and Fruit and vegetables (1 per cent). The Canadian organic industry continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing. This report concludes Saskatchewan opportunities are seen in organic oil seeds, organic cereals, and organic pulses for a variety of uses, such as human consumption, animal feed, and industrial uses in the United States.
Read the full report here: