Agriculture

Growing opportunities in Northwest Alberta

The REDI Region offers exceptional agricultural economic potential due to extended summer daylight hours. Northwest Alberta agriculture accounts for a large part of the
local economy.

Farmers in the REDI region are known to grow grains with higher weight and protein levels and grow oil seeds with higher omega content than jurisdictions further south. Seed grown here are also known to be larger than seed grown elsewhere, and in fact, Mackenzie Applied Research Association (MARA) data for the thousand kernel weight are best in class.

Agriculture was one of the main drivers in building Northwest Alberta into what it is today. Agriculture remains a crucial part of the REDI Region economy, sharing a symbiotic relationship with our forestry and energy sectors. In Northwest Alberta, we’re proud of our agricultural roots: farming and ranching are part of who we are.

The REDI Region’s 610 farms:

• Cover nearly 220,000 hectares (539,000 acres)
• Support many indirect businesses within our communities

2017: Canola produced in AB NW is transported out of the region by rail; 94% of the volume produced was delivered to a grain terminal within the NW region

REDI Region is one of the most concentrated sourcing regions for organic oats in all of North America.

Organic Farming

  • 2018: REDI Region has the highest number of organic farmers (2018); more than half of the province’s organic producers live in the county. 
  • 2018: 272 reported organic farming operations in Mackenzie County
  • 2018: REDI region saw an increase of 44 organic producers between 2017 and 2018, accounting for 57% of the total increase of organic operators in Alberta in that year.

Local value-added and agricultural service businesses:

Value Added Oat Processing Plant – Business Case Available 

Value Added Pea Protein Processing Plant – Business Case Available 

Hemp Decortication – Hemp Train™ Opportunity
• Feed mills & Seed cleaning co-ops
• New 2021 Richardson Pioneer 32,000 Metric Tonne Grain Elevator (most northerly Canadian grain elevator is in High Level)

Farm suppliers: Bluewave, UFA, Richardson Pioneer, Prairie Coast, Kaboda Farm & Ranch, Alberta Farm Supply, AFSC, FCC 

Diverse Agricultural Yield

Our local farmers and ranchers develop a variety of crops and livestock across REDI Region. Some of our notable agricultural products include:

Grain

Our farmers grow a variety of grain crops, including wheat, oats, and barley.

Canola

Canola is a staple crop across Canada and Northwest Alberta is no exception.

Peas

Nutritious, delicious, and well suited for Northwest Alberta growing conditions.

Hemp

Hemp is the crop of the future! A resilient, fast-growing crop with many uses.

Cattle

REDI Region is also home to ranchers who raise livestock crucial to our food chain.

Continuing Research and Innovation

The Mackenzie Applied Research Association [MARA] is a not-for-profit, producer-driven applied research association. MARA conducts agriculture and environmental research from its Fort Vermilion, Alberta location. MARA focuses on finding innovative agricultural opportunities and solutions suitable for the specific needs of Northwest Alberta growers.

The central aims of MARA are to:

  • Conduct relevant crop, livestock and environmental research and demonstration trials.
  • Develop nutrient strategies and innovative means to manage soils and lands to enhance production while protecting the environment.
  • Deliver relevant extension services to producers with the ultimate aim of reducing production costs, improving crop and livestock marketing while enhancing greater environmental sustainability.

For more information on MARA and their research, please see the MARA website.

REPORTS

Comprehensive data and information on our agricultural industry.

Agriculture Industry Snapshot

An overview of agricultural industry here in the REDI Region. Great as a quick reference, with all the relevant details.

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Business Case for a Pea Processing Facility
- Report Summary

Feasibility study to establish interest and an understanding of the pea processing industry.

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$28 Million Pea Processing Facility Proposed

Two page advertisement based on the feasibility study, produced by REDI, to promote the development of a pea processing facility in the region.

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Hemp Alberta Northern Advantage (HANA) Business Plan

Assessing the opportunity, marketing, operating and financial plans for the establishment of hemp decortication plants on different site locations across northern Alberta.

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Northwest Alberta Commodities

What are the products? How much is produced? Where are the products exported? How are the products transported?

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Business Case for a Pea Processing Facility - Full Report

Feasibility study to establish interest and an understanding of the pea processing industry.

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Oat Processing Feasibility Study

A feasibility assessment to investigate the overall viability of establishing a commercial oat groat processing facility in the La Crete area.

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Hemp Alberta Northern Advantage (HANA) Transportation Study

Assessing and comparing the impact of transportation costs and services from numerous potential hemp decortication plant location sites in northern Alberta.

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REDI PILLARS

See what the REDI Region has to offer: