Agricultural Opportunities

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Overview

Lethbridge County is known as the irrigation capital of Canada, allowing for a multitude of crops to be grown by area farmers.  This highly diversified crop base provides raw material for processing industries and export markets, as well as feed for the area’s livestock industries.  Wheat is the major harvest of the region, while winter wheat, hard and soft spring wheat and durum are processed within the County and exported around the world.  Other crops including barley, canola, flax, rye, oats, and various specialty crops are increasing in popularity because of their higher value.

Irrigation is a key competitive advantage for Lethbridge County.  It permits the growth of high value crops, secures consistent production, substantially enhances yields and quality, and provides raw quality product for value added agri-food processing.

Some of Canada's largest and most efficient cattle feedlots, pork and poultry operations are located within the County. There are over 200 milk producers in the area, which accounts for about 17% of the provincial total.

Lethbridge County has more than 1,080 farms and ranches and is perfectly positioned to attract the investors, professionals and labor force necessary to diversify into an economic force both locally, nationally and internationally.

Economic Impact

GROSS SALES = $44,763,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES = 127
TOTAL PAYROLL = $5,645,000
• 29 per cent of these businesses indicated that they export approximately 58 per cent of their product
• 29 per cent of these businesses indicated that they have expansion plans for 2007

* This information reflects only a small portion of the economic impact of the industry based on aggregate data collected from 7 respondents to a survey conducted November 2006.

Industry Participants

Vandenberg Custom Bailing
Picture Butte Auction Market
Sundial Enviro Services Ltd.
Butte Grain Merchants Ltd.
St. Mary River Irrigation District
Agricultural Employment Lethbridge
Headwater Equipment
Easterday Farms Ltd.