The Holland Marsh: Challenges and Opportunities in the Greenbelt provides an overview of the Holland Marsh -- its history, contribution to the agricultural economy, and the challenges it faces. The Holland Marsh, a Specialty Crop Area in the Greenbelt, has been used for growing vegetables since 1930, when a canal system was constructed to drain the Marsh for agricultural use. At over 7,000 acres, the land is comprised of some of the most fertile soil in Canada, organic black soil, that supports the growth of a wide variety of plants.
At over 7,000 acres, the land is comprised of some of the most fertile soil in Canada, organic black soil, that supports the growth of a wide variety of plants."
Here are some highlights:
- There are approximately 100 farms located in the Holland Marsh generating millions of dollars in annual revenue and creating employment for agricultural growers, packagers, and processors
- The most popular crops grown in the Marsh are onions and carrots, with around 35% of crops being devoted to each of these two vegetables for a total of 70-80% of the Marsh's farmland.
- The Holland Marsh has a total economic impact of around $1 billion annually, including farm gate value, packaging, and transportation, making the Marsh a key element in the agricultural economies of the both province and the entire country.
Despite these successes, the Holland Marsh faces a number of challenges, such as issues with drainage, soil erosion, trespassing, crop theft, and reduced profits from exports to the United States due to the exchange rate. Continued support from stakeholders across all sectors is needed to keep this vibrant agricultural community successful, both economically and environmentally.
Read the full report here: