Agriculture is one of those areas where we all can learn some new facts, and if you want to learn more, as I have with these facts below, check out Farm & Food Care’s facts on farming at www.realdirtonfarming.ca
In 1900, 50 cents of every dollar earned was spent on food. Today, Canadians spend just over 10 cents of every dollar we earn on food.
Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world. We produce about 85% of the world’s maple syrup and we are the world’s largest grower and exporter of flax seed, canola, pulses (peas, beans, and lentils) and durum wheat (the kind used to make pasta).
Here’s another interesting fact: 72.5% of Canadian farmers are men and 27.5% are women.
Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, was raised on a grain farm in southern Ontario. He credits farming with teaching him how machinery worked long before he received his first degree in mechanical engineering.
Over 125 different fruits and vegetable crops are grown in Canada from coast to coast. Farmers in Ontario and Quebec account for more than 80% of vegetable sales, and the vast majority of fruit sales come from British Columbia (38%), Ontario (27%), and Quebec (23%).
Carrots just aren’t orange in colour any longer. They also come in purple, yellow, and white.
According to the Chicken Farmers of Canada, the average cost of a quarter chicken dinner at Swiss Chalet is $10.19 (not including taxes or gratuity), of which the farmer’s share is $1.06 or 10% of the cost.
Some farmers are growing and marketing “heritage varieties” of vegetables and grains, which were common 50 to 100 years ago, but are no longer used in modern food production. Foods from these types of crops are known for their unique flavours and qualities and are prized by chefs and discerning consumers.
Of all the eggs bought in Canadian grocery stores, 87% are “regular”, 8% are omega-3, and 5% are other specialty types (free range, organic).
Worldwide, we lose a soccer field of farm land every second, while adding two more people to the world’s population.
An experimental new drug that has been developed to treat the deadly Ebola virus is made from tobacco plants that have been modified to produce disease-fighting proteins, called monoclonal antibodies, which target a specific part of a pathogen.
If manure isn’t managed properly, it can contaminate water. Our farmers value water quality on their farms and follow strict guidelines and regulations to help keep our water clean. Nutrient management planning (which covers manure, commercial fertilizers, and all other nutrient sources for farm land) is a way of making sure crops and soils get all the benefits of the nutrients without harming the environment.
Honey bees play a critical role in the production of fruits, vegetables, and other crops. The bees pollinate blossoms on the plants to turn them into fruits (like apples) or vegetables (like pumpkins). It is estimated that every third bite of food we eat relates back to honeybees and pollination.
Think about this – Sometimes our disappointment can be God’s appointment.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our website – www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’