Meeting The Need for Food and Fibre Canada is a major world producer of food and fibre We grow far more than we consume, so we export our surplus to other countries We are also world leaders in agricultural science Scientists are working towards a goal of sustainability growing food and fibre while keeping our natural systems healthy for the long term Alberta
Agriculture is a relatively new industry in Alberta It wasnt until the railroad brought settlers west in the late 1800s and early 1900s, that agriculture became widespread It took only about 30 years for settlers to plough under native grasslands that had been around for 1000s of years Of the 60 million hectares of land area in Alberta, over 20 million is now dedicated farmland Alberta Alberta farmers produce crops worth almost three billion dollars
The food industry is second only to oil and natural gas in terms of earnings Wheat, canola, barley, and oats are grown for their seeds and are sold mainly to other countries Other crops include legumes (field peas, faba beans, lentils), potatoes, alfalfa, field corn, sugar beets, sunflowers and spices Farming Many crops are grown in greenhouses (cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, house plants, and cut flowers) In order to make money, farmers must produce
large amounts of crops They do this by using large machinery, fertilizing the soil and also by irrigating, or watering their crops Most farmers grow their crops as a monoculture, only one type of crop per field Changing Technology Changes in technology include: Using cultivators to prepare and fertilize soil Special chemicals used to control fungi Air seeders and seed drills used to plant seeds
Herbicides and pesticides sprayed on crops Swathers used to cut hay Combines used to harvest grain and separate seeds Other large machinery like trucks and ploughs Fibre Plants and Forestry Trees cover 4.5 million square kilometres of land in Canada an area larger than western and eastern Europe combined Canada has about 10% of Earths forests Wood fibre industry employs over 800 000 Canadians
Forests have many different trees, plants, animals, etc (not ECT) known as diversity Trees in Alberta Tree species in Alberta include: Lodgepole Pine White Spruce Black Spruce Aspen White Birch Tamarack (Larch) - Other species in Canada include: Red Oak, Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Maple, Trembling Aspen
Forest Products The forest can produce many things for humans These include: Lumber Pulp and paper Veneer and plywood
Sash, doors, shingles, other millwork Other paper products asphalt roofing, cartons, boxes, paper bags, etc (not ECT.) Prefabricated buildings, cabinets, boxes, particleboard, MDF, chipboard, etc (not ECT) Harvesting Trees Steps involved in harvesting trees: Planning the cut (based on a review of the
site) Building a road to the area Felling and de-limbing the trees Dragging or skidding trees to a central area Hauling the logs to a saw mill or pulp mill Preparing the site for reforestation (scarification) Reforestation (reseeding and replanting) BEWARE of bears!!!!! Global Problems One of the most serious problems worldwide is soil erosion (blown away by wind and water) North Africa used to once be extremely fertile
frequent and long-lasting droughts have resulted in desertification Where vegetation has been removed in Brazil and West Africa, soils have become hard and useless for crops In some areas of Europe and USA, high levels of agricultural chemicals have caused pollution
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