The agriculture community in the Region of Newell is quite diverse. The region is host to a number of operations such as:
- The Largest Apiary in Canada, The Scandia Honey Corporation
- The Largest Water Irrigation Network in Canada, the Eastern Irrigation District
- Alfalfa Seed Production and Pollination (80% of Canada’s Alfalfa Seed crop is grown in the Region of Newell)
- Western Canada’s Largest Meat Packing Facility (JBS Lakeside)
- Large Cattle Growing Operations (Feedlots, Mixed Farming, Etc.)
- Crop Diversification Center South
- University of Alberta Research and Testing fields
- Specialty Seed Pollination with Leaf Cutter Bees
- Seed Canola, Seed Alfalfa
Agriculture is a $10 billion dollar industry in Alberta. With only 10% of Canada’s population, Alberta accounts for 21% of Canada's total farm cash receipts. The County of Newell has a thriving and extensive agricultural base with ready access to Calgary and its global transportation linkages. With a younger work force and average farm receipts in the range of $100,000 to $249,999, the region is home to some of the most profitable farmers in Alberta.
Basic County of Newell Agricultural Facts and Figures
- Total number of farms – 717
# of farms % of total 2011 2011 Under 129 acres 118 16% 130 to 239 acres 93 13% 240 to 559 acres 196 27% 560 to 759 acres 76 11% 760 to 1,119 acres 67 9% 1,120 to 1,599 acres 36 5% 1,500 to 2,239 acres 36 5% Over 2,240 acres 95 13% Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Census of Agriculture
- Native pasture land - 930,000 acres of native pasture within the County of Newell.
- Irrigated land - 282,000 acres via a system of canals and pipelines fed by water diverted from the Bow River at the Bassano Dam located west of Bassano. The system is operated by the Eastern Irrigation District.
- Dry land cropland - 60,000 acres
Crop Area/Livestock (2006 and 2011) # of acres / #animals % change 2006 2011 Spring wheat (excluding durum) 90,985 96076 5.6% Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures 72,798 58918 -19.1% Barley 48,212 44869 -6.9% Canola 26,945 68625 154.7% 23,183 Cattle and calves 259,913 146139 -43.8% Source: Statistics Canada 2006 and 2011 Census of Agriculture
- County of Newell Total Gross Farm Receipts (2011) - $286,986,982