The largest industry on Prince Edward Island
by Heidi Riley
Agriculture on Prince Edward Island – Hiring practices
Arthur Mooney & Sons Ltd., Souris
Atlantic Roasted Products Inc. Montague
Green Diamond Equipment, Stratford, Summerside and Bloomfield
PEI Bag Company, Central Bedeque
Real Potatoes Ltd., Cornwall
Roberts Group of Companies, Kinkora, Alberton, Clinton, Kensington, New Annan
Southern Environmental Association, Montague
Tignish Co-operative, Tignish
W.P. Griffin Inc., Elmsdale
The 2016 census listed 1,353 farms primarily engaged in growing crops and raising livestock on PEI. These farms range in size from a few acres to 3,000 acres.
Number of people employed
According to the PEI Labour Market Bulletin, 3,300 people were employed in agriculture in the first quarter of 2017.
Some job titles
- Agriculture Technician
- Vegetable/fruit harvester
Most difficult job to fill
Farmers report that labourers are hardest to find.
- PEI Farm Technician Apprenticeship program
- Atlantic Veterinary College
- Entering Atlantic Veterinary College
- Short courses
Resources to further explore the field
- PEI Agriculture Sector Council
- PEI ADAPT Council – 902-368-2005
- PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry
Mary Robinson presented with 2017 Women in Agriculture Recognition Award -The Guardian – June 5, 2017
The main categories in agriculture
(Source: 2014 Agriculture at a Glance – PEI Agriculture and Forestry Department)
- Potatoes are PEI’s largest agricultural commodity. About 90,200 acres of potatoes were planted in 2014, 1,500 acres more than in 2013. PEI potatoes are mostly processed into frozen potato products and chips on PEI. Fresh table market potatoes are shipped to eastern Canada, the US, and overseas. Seed potatoes are shipped across Canada and around the world.
- Grains and oilseeds include wheat, oats, barley, mixed grain, oilseeds (canola), milling wheat, and soybeans.
- Fruit – Blueberry cultivation makes up the largest acreage of PEI’s commercial fruit crops. The blueberry harvest increased by 40.5 percent from 2013 to 22.7 million pounds in 2014. Cranberries, strawberries, apples, raspberries, grapes, and other fruits are also grown commercially. The honeybee industry serves the fruit and vegetable crop and produces honey.
- Organic farming is expanding across PEI. 60 certified organic producers grow crops and/or livestock.
- Beef – 40 percent of Island farms raise beef. There is one federally inspected abattoir, Atlantic Beef Products Inc. in Albany, which can send its products across Canada. There are also some small local abattoirs that can sell their meats only on PEI.
- Vegetables – Cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, rutabaga, and onions are sold on PEI and shipped to off-Island processors.
- Dairy – There are 180 dairy farms on PEI, with herds ranging from 20 to 300 cows. Fresh milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream are produced at ADL in Summerside.
- Hogs – There are 20 farms on PEI, marketing 62,000 hogs per year.
- Eggs – Seven registered quota holders produce eggs. Two provincial egg grading stations serve the provincial table market. In 2013, 3.427 million dozen eggs were processed.
- Chicken – Eight broiler farms on PEI produce 5 million kg of meat, all of which is processed off-Island.
- Fur farming – As of 2012, there were 11 mink farms and three fox farms.
- Sheep – The Island sheep flock has increased 78 percent since 2006. According to the estimate by Statistics Canada, approximately 100 sheep producers handle about 7,000 sheep, of which there are 3,800 ewes and 2,900 lambs. PEI has an increasing number of goat producers as well.
|For more information about the agriculture sector on PEI, call 902-892-1091.
|To explore careers further, check the career booklet agriculture and agri-food economy.|
|Click to watch a video on agriculture.|
|Click to find videos of entrepreneurs telling their stories.|
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