Feeding Our Region

Tay and Tiny Townships have been agricultural communities since the earliest settlers in this region, and they continue to live and promote the farming culture, even as the farming business evolves toward a greater degree of specialty and catering to healthier lifestyles. Still, there remains much opportunity to enhance the value of the crops and livestock, and add further value through agricultural supplies, services and processing.

As with all of Canada feed production and basic livestock production are sold into the global commodity markets; hence, they are heavily subject to cyclic influences and tremendous economic pressure on prices. Distance to market is an impediment to agri-business interests because of the greater costs and delays associated with transporting goods and livestock the extra distance. The smaller size of North Simcoe producers, as compared with southern Ontario and western producers, also has profound impact on economies of scale. For this reason, North Simcoe agri-business will benefit greatly from a strong differentiator in its products, leading players to focus on specialty or niche production.

Economic Value of Agriculture

Agriculture and agri-food play an important role in the federal and provincial economies. In Canada, the industries provide 1 in 9 jobs, employ 2 million people and account for 7% of total gross domestic product (GDP).

The North Simcoe Agriculture sector adds $6.3 million in wages to the economy and 260 jobs. Agriculture production is booming in North Simcoe even though there is a slight decrease in jobs since 2011.

It is predicted that by 2024, the County of Simcoe population will increase by 11%! That’s an increase of 50,000 people in six years. We rely on the Agriculture sector not only for 3,745 jobs in the County, but also for providing local resources such as fresh crops and products for animals all around.

North Simcoe is home to 260 jobs in the Agriculture sector providing $84 million worth of exports for North Simcoe. Agriculture ranks as the ninth biggest exporter for the area.

Agricultural Employment
Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Agriculture

What’s growing in North Simcoe

%

Hay

%

Oats for grain

%

Soybeans

%

Mixed grains

%

Corn for grain

%

Barley for grain

%

Winter wheat

%

Corn for silage

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Agriculture

Farms by Industry Group

The 172 farms in North Simcoe consist of a variety of different farms which focus on a diverse group of industries. Having such a diverse industry within the North Simcoe area allows for almost 30% of North Simcoe’s agricultural needs to be met by the local farms.

North Simcoe is home to a wide variety of crops, from barley to soybeans. Not only does this provide a wide variety of exports for the area, it also shows that Agriculture in North Simcoe continues to thrive.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Agriculture

Agricultural land analysis

In North Simcoe alone, there are 29,679 acres of farm land. Stretched across 172 farms, this averages 173 acres per farm. Even with the decrease of 25 farms since 2011, the average acre per farm dropped only by one acre. Total farm land accounts for 22% of North Simcoe acreage.

  • Land in crops 67% 67%
  • Christmas trees, woodland & wetlands 22% 22%
  • Natural land for pasture 6% 6%
  • Tame or seeded pasture 5% 5%

%

North Simcoe farm land

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Agriculture

Agricultural Capital Value

The capital value of farming in North Simcoe has increased although the number of farms has decreased by 17% from 2011 to 2016. Nine more farms report a capital value of over one-million dollars compared to 2011.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Agriculture