Proudly Northumberland

Contact(s)

Agriculture

Sheep in the field

Northumberland County is known for having high quality farmland, 44% of the land in the county is identified as prime agricultural land (between class 1-3), and 31% of the land isgraded as Class 1. These numbers are significant because 5% of land in Canada isidentified as prime agricultural land and only 0.5% of Canadian land is Class 1.

Rich soil makes a large portion of the county land base optimal for agricultural use and one of the defining characteristics of the area is the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Moraine is composed of irregular ridges stretching 160 kilometres from the Trent River in the east to the Niagara Escarpment in the west. The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing describes the Moraine as a unique concentration of environmental, geological and hydrological features that make its ecosystem vital to south-central Ontario, including:

  • clean and abundant water resources;
  • healthy and diverse plant and animal habitat;
  • an attractive and distinct landscape;
  • prime agricultural areas.

With heat units ranging from 2900 in the south end to 2700 on the northern edge, Northumberland farmers enjoy an ideal climate for dozens of crops. The ideal climate is a factor influencing some impressive Regional performance statistics:

  • Apple production is 41% higher than the provincial average
  • Strawberry production is higher than the provincial average (22% more acreage)
  • A fledgling wine industry has taken hold in Northumberland County
  • Northumberland produces 4.2% of Ontario's oats and nearly 2.4% of the province's alfalfa
  • Bio-products, such as hemp, have proven well suited to the growing conditions in Northumberland County
  • Northumberland County has 61% more Honeybee Colonies than the average Ontario county
  • The county has a significantly higher concentration of sheep and lambs than the Ontario average

Hay is the major field crop in Northumberland County in 2006 and represented a total of 59,918 acres of farmland and 38.93% of the total field crops. Soybean crops have shownthe greatest percentage acreage increase from1996 at 18.8%, however the majority of theincrease was between 1999 and 2000 and soybean crops have actually declined sinc2 2000.

The following chart details the number of Northumberland County farms by industry for 2006: 

Industry

Number of Farms

Dairy cattle and milk production

107

Beef cattle ranching and farming

250

Hog and pig farming

13

Sheep and goat farming

33

Poultry and egg production

30

Other animal production

153

Oilseed and grain farming

152

Vegetable and melon farming

30

Fruit and tree-nut farming

36

Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture

46

Other crop farming

181