Page 7 - RealDirtENG2020
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The biggest change? Size.
Farms are bigger, and there are more tools and technologies to help farmers with their work. Smartphone apps and sensors can let a farmer know if a cow is sick even before she shows any symptoms; drones can detect crop pests and diseases in a  eld more quickly than a human; and GPS systems can help farmers pinpoint exactly where and how much fertilizer is needed in a  eld.
Most farmers today specialize in a speci c type of farming, like greenhouse vegetables, mushrooms, dairy, or pork production. This specialization helps farms to be more ef cient and produce more food, and makes it easier for farmers to learn and to adapt to challenges in their area of expertise.
A big challenge for today’s farms is feeding Canadians sustainably. That means growing enough food in ways that are good for people, animals, and the planet—as well being  nancially viable and socially responsible—and all farms have a role to play in this process.
Career Pro le
Potato Farmers
Jason, Harrison and Josh Hayden
Jason Hayden, a sixth-generation potato farmer on Prince Edward Island, is pleased to see his sons, Harrison and Josh, follow in his footsteps. “We feel very fortunate to have our next generation taking an interest in farming and not have to worry about the future of our farm.” He added that working with family also makes day-to-day chores easier and more rewarding.
The family grows table potatoes, including white and russet, and operates a potato packaging warehouse on their farm. Potatoes grown on their own and neighbouring farms are packed and shipped across Canada and into the United States.
Harrison and Josh now run their own farms, growing
a rotation of winter wheat, soybeans, and potatoes. “Making their own business decisions and having some ownership over how they farm is the best way to learn,” said Hayden, but adds that he is always there for some helpful advice.
Family is at the heart of
Canada’s farms
In Canada, farming is still all about family. Many farms are handed down from one generation to the next in a process called succession. Parents and even grandparents often work together
with sons, daughters, and grandchildren in the family’s farming business. There are farms in Canada that have now been home to eight or nine generations of the same family.
Cassi Brunsveld
Regional roundup
Canada is a big country—and just as our geography and climate vary from coast to coast, so do our farms.
The key to Canada’s farm and food success has always been diversity. Here’s a snapshot of farming across the country21:
In the territories,
agriculture includes herding wild animals like caribou and muskox; breeding sled dogs; horse out tting and rigging; and harvesting native plants and berries.
British Columbia
produces 95 per cent of Canada’s cherry crop24.
leads Canada in beef production, and accounts for more than 40 per cent of all beef cattle in Canada.
has the largest number of young farmers under 35 in Canada.
is a food and farming powerhouse, producing more dairy, maple syrup, pork, nuts, fruit and berries than any other province.
Newfoundland & Labrador
farms have the highest rate of leased and rented farmland in Canada22.
grows more  eld crops than any other province—such as canola, spring wheat and lentils.
is the country’s leading chicken producer, and is home to two-thirds of Canada’s greenhouse vegetable production.
Prince Edward Island
grows more potatoes than any other province in Canada.
New Brunswick’s
leading fruit/berry crop is blueberries.
Nova Scotia
has the highest proportion of female farmers in Atlantic Canada23.
Chapter 1: Canadian farms and farmers – 7 who is growing our food?

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