Forestry and Agrifoods
Vegetable production was probably the first type of agriculture enterprise carried on in Newfoundland and Labrador. Having a good supply of vegetables was necessary for survival in the early days of settlement.
The main emphasis of vegetable production today still concentrates on the types of vegetables that are most suited to our soil and climate conditions. The vegetable industry in the province was valued at over $7.3 million in 2017. The crops with the highest acreage are potatoes, turnip, cabbage, carrot, and beets. However, our diets are changing; people are becoming more health conscious, and the value of a more varied mix of vegetables in our diet is more appreciated and Newfoundland and Labrador producers are changing to capture some of the market.
Vegetable producers continue to adopt the latest technology to produce these crops competitively. Growing crops is a complex business, it involves planning, financing, accounting, labor management, mechanization, pest control, harvesting, cooling, storage, grading, packaging and marketing. Our farmers use the latest equipment and facilities, for example precision seeders, mechanical transplanters, greenhouses, row covers, irrigation, refrigerated, jacketed and ice bank cooled storages.
Opportunities in the vegetable sector include:
Challenges in the vegetable industry include an adequate land base for expansion, proper crop rotation and efficient mechanization; capital to acquire land, machinery and buildings; and knowledge and skills to stay competitive in a competitive environment.