Saskatchewan vegetable production – an opportunity awaits
At 7% “in-season” self sufficiency, Saskatchewan imports about $25,000,000 of fresh vegetables annually. To further exploit this apparent diversification opportunity a vegetable project was initiated in 1996 to demonstrate newer production technologies and to obtain data for Saskatchewan based costs of production. One half acre sized fields of pumpkin, carrots, cabbage, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, celery, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe have been grown and marketed to simulate commercial production. The results have shown that acceptable yields of suitable quality produce can be grown and superior quality where proximity to market is a factor. Net returns have been positive for the most part but, since labour is such a significant component of variable costs, productivity and efficient use of labour can be critical. These initiatives have given the vegetable industry in Saskatchewan further impetus and direction. A number of new producers and a new generation cooperative, currently in the formative stages, appear poised to further diversify the agricultural landscape with SASK GROWN fresh vegetables.
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