Bright picture painted of Alberta agriculture

Alberta crop yields are estimated to be seven percent above average and livestock sales in the province might also reach a record high of $6.9 billion, the provincial agriculture department reports.

As well, the food processing sector is expected to exceed the usual with products totalling $14.8 billion, the province said Monday.

Agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen praised the efforts of producers and processors in a Sept. 28 news release.

Alberta Beef Producers chair Kelly Smith-Fraser said cattle markets are stable despite earlier COVID-19 disruptions and producers hope to see them hold steady through fall.

The news release referred to “a visionary long-term plan” for the sector to attract investment, improve market access and increase export opportunities.

Alberta’s agricultural sector contributes $9.2 billion to the province’s gross domestic product and employs more than 77,000 Alberta, according to government data. The food and beverage manufacturing sector had sales of $15.8 billion in 2019, making it the second largest manufacturing industry in the province. Petroleum and coal-related manufacturing has the top spot.

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