With the 2012 crop looking like it will be better than average, Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) is reflecting on farmers’ contributions to Alberta’s economy.
“We’re cautiously optimistic, because it’s early in the harvest and weather could still wreak havoc,” said Lynn Jacobson, WRAP president. “But yields and quality at this point are higher than normal. Similarly, grain prices are excellent, leading to anticipation that this could be a banner year for our industry.”
“This is great news for Alberta, because our research shows that for every $1 a grain farmer earns, almost $14 is put back into the economy as the grain makes its way through the provincial value chain,” said Jacobson.
According to provincial calculations, Alberta farmers contributed a record $10.5 billion to the economy in 2011, with the food and beverage processing industry generating $12.2 billion in economic activity in the same year. These two sectors combined created 73,200 jobs for Albertans.
Jacobson noted it would be remarkable if all areas in the agriculture industry were doing well at the same time. There are some grain producers who have been devastated by hail, and there are some sectors where farmers are not in the same situation as most grain producers.