Fisheries and Land Resources

Forestry and Agrifoods

Vegetables

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:

  • Extend the market season of the traditional root crops and cabbage by the construction new and improving existing storage capacity.
  • Put more emphasis on the production and marketing of non traditional and speciality crops.
  • Use technologies such as floating row covers and unheated greenhouses to capture the early market and grow warmer and longer season crops.
  • To continue efforts to expand and create new markets like farmer's markets, farm markets, Community Supported Agriculture, u-picks, etc.
  • To emphasize to consumers the value of fresh local grown vegetables and the economic importance of buying Newfoundland grown to support the economy.
  • To add value to the industry through processing.

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.

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