The Rich lands of the Peace Region
This region is home to the northernmost agricultural industry in the world and features a unique combination of northern climate, long summer days, fertile soil, and a watershed fed by glacial runoff. The Peace Region has long been renowned for its crop production – from the vibrantly yellow fields of canola and award-winning wheat to the more unique, boreal Haskap berry orchards producing ice ciders and cold-climate wines.
The County of Grande Prairie has nearly 1.1 million acres of farmland, the largest number within the Peace Region, and more than 1,000 farms.
Research and Development
The Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Beaverlodge Research and Development Farm focuses on soil microbiology and biodiversity, soil fertility, soil physics and management, integrating cropping systems, plant pathology, canola breeding, forage seeds, and grass production and entomology.
In addition, Northwestern Polytechnic’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) is the first comprehensive laboratory in Canada to provide a full array of diagnostic services for honey bee pests, pathogens, and parasites. This centre provides critical services to beekeepers, researchers, Provincial and Federal agencies. and the industry.
The County of Grande Prairie’s Agriculture Department implemented Alberta’s first grand-scale biobed – one of only five such biobeds in Canada – as an innovative, organic filtration system for >99% removal of herbicides and pesticides from their weed and pest control programs.
Access to World Markets
Alberta is the third-largest exporter of agri-food products in Canada. In 2020, Alberta’s agri-food exports reached $12.4 billion – 18% of Canada’s total agri-food exports – with approximately 46% of exports being primary agricultural products. The remaining 54% were value-added products. Canada, on average, exports about 50% of all the principal grains it produces, while the Peace Country exports closer to 66%. The Peace Region’s food grains tend to be pooled with products from the rest of Canada and are branded as “Canadian” grain. This practice has been important in securing key trade agreements with importers who require a large, predictable supply.
Over half the agricultural land is dedicated to growing crops sold to international markets. The principal crops of canola, alfalfa, and wheat are sold around the world to more than 40 countries. Because the Peace Country is so export-dependent, our excellent road and rail networks are a major benefit for agricultural producers in the region, allowing for effective participation in the global supply chain. This includes access to and from Pacific ports, allowing it to act as a distribution hub in Western Canada.