Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
Canadian fruit, vegetable production up


March 12, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

March 1, 2010 – Total
sales of fruits and vegetables by Canadian farmers amounted to $1.5 billion in
2009, up 3.6 per cent or $50.5 million over 2008.



March 1, 2010 – Total
sales of fruits and vegetables by Canadian farmers amounted to $1.5 billion in
2009, up 3.6 per cent or $50.5 million over 2008.

Vegetable crops accounted
for 53 per cent of the total fruit and vegetable sales according to numbers
recently released by Statistics Canada.

Advertisment

Vegetable farmers earned
$773 million, up 17.8 per cent or $117 million from 2008. This increase was driven
by sales gains in the fresh market, especially carrots (+26 per cent), lettuce
(+51.6 per cent) and corn (+23.6 per cent).

As is the case
historically, about three-quarters of the value of vegetables came from fresh
market sales in 2009, while the rest came from sales to processors.

Farmers planted 555,470
acres in fruits and vegetables, up 1.1 per cent from 2008. Production of fruits
and vegetables increased 4.6 per cent with most of the gain accounted for by
lettuce (+34.9 per cent), carrots (+32.5 per cent) and onions (+30.6 per cent).

Sweet corn, the largest
vegetable crop, accounted for more than 20 per cent of the 258,492 acres of
vegetables planted in 2009. Green peas were the second largest, with 12.2 per
cent of acreage.

Farmers had 296,978 acres
in fruit in 2009, up 2.4 per cent from 2008. Blueberries accounted for 55.1 per
cent of this acreage, followed by apples at 16.8 per cent and vinifera grapes
at 9.7 per cent. While farmers planted more vinifera grapes and sour cherries
in 2009, the area planted for peaches and pears declined, partly because of
replanting and transition programs in some provinces.

Fruit sales totalled $685
million for farmers in 2009, down 8.8 per cent or $66 million from 2008. The
main factors behind this drop were blueberries, which declined by $52.2
million, and cranberries, which fell by $22.0 million. In both cases, prices
dropped by about one-third and were the contributing factors to the decline in
sale values.

Fruit production in 2009
was virtually unchanged, although production of cranberries rose by 15,444 tons
or 19.3 per cent, while that of blueberries increased by 8,380 tons or 7.9 per
cent.

Farmers in two provinces,
Ontario and Quebec, accounted for more than 80 per cent of vegetable sales. The
vast majority of fruit sales came from three provinces: British Columbia (36.2
per cent), Ontario (32.2 per cent) and Quebec (22.2 per cent).