Agriculture is a major industry in the Smoky River Region, with 82% of the municipality’s total area dedicated to farming operations. Highly regarded as one of the most fertile areas of the province, farmers produce a variety of crops, including canola, wheat, oats, barley, peas, and a variety of legumes.
According to the census 2016, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development from Statistics Canada Data, the Smoky River Region has a total of 289 farm families who farm a total of 545,973 acres (Note: this also accounts for the third-largest pool of cultivated acres in the north of the province). With so few families farming many such acres of land, the demand for new technology is at its peak. Many farm-related businesses are starting to take up shop in the region. (This includes grain companies, farm implement companies, and large equipment companies.)
With a large number of farmed acres, this also provides a value-added prospect for farmers and farm-related industries. The region is a great place for new farm-related industries to set up shop as there is access to high-yielding farms, freshwater, ground and rail transportation, and ample space to house new developments.
The region is rich in farming history, and farm families pride themselves in growing their operations and reaching new levels of marketability locally, nationally, and on an international basis.
As a result of a large number of farmable acres, the region is the home to Smoky Applied Research Development Association (SARDA), an organization that stimulates and conducts applied research and demonstration to provide a basis for recommendations and to achieve sustainable agricultural production for producers. They share their results, information, and technology to facilitate the transfer of unbiased information between research institutions, industry, and local producers. For more information visit sarda.ca
The Apiculture industry is recognized as one important industry in the Smoky River region with a production of 3.75 million pounds of honey each year. As many of the local producers have discovered, the market for their products is indeed worldwide. Other products are derived from the hive, including beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis. The region is one of the world’s best honey-producing regions thanks to its long summer days and farmland.
There are also several livestock operations throughout the region.
The Smoky River Region is in the 55th Parallel. Producers and crops in our agriculture-intensive region are perfectly situated to benefit from long daylight hours, more so than any other agricultural regions in the world. In fact, on June 21st (the longest day of the year), the region receives 17 hours and 33 minutes of daylight. The long days result in higher quality and concentration of omega 3-6-9 and proteins in our grain crops.
Both Highways 49 and 2 intersect the Smoky River Region and go through or near many of the municipalities. These highways provide excellent routes to major centers in the province, including Peace River, Grande Prairie, Edmonton, and Calgary, to name a few. These highways help move products in and out of the region more efficiently. In addition, CN has a yard depot in the Town of McLennan, a municipality within the Smoky River boundaries.
The region is a great place for new farm-related industries to set up a business, as there is access to high-yielding farms, freshwater, and ground and rail transportation. The Smoky River region is also the farm implement center for producers throughout the Peace region, which provides a value-added prospect for farmers and farm-related industries.