Nipawin Saskatchewan
Agriculture in Nipawin
Agriculture is a vital part of life within Saskatchewan with approximately $3.67 billion of exports leaving the province. The surrounding municipalities in Nipawin's trading area include Torch River, Connaught, Arborfield, and Moose Range. In 2006, 1,307 farms operated in Nipawin and the surrounding municipalities with the majority of the size between 240 to 2,239 acres.

The major crops for the Nipawin trading area include spring wheat, oats, barley, flax, canola and peas.


The dominant soil type within the Nipawin area is dark grey chernozemic/luvisolic with the surrounding area including eutric brunisolic soil. The soil can also range from sand to raw peat to very heavy clay. A variety of crops can be grown with such a range in soil. It is some of the most fertile soil in the province. Nipawin lies in the Boreal Transition Eco-Region where there is a transition from boreal forest to farmland. Previously, the area was mostly forested area but has been clear for farming purposes with sections of forested areas.


The livestock produced in Nipawin crop district include cattle, pigs and sheep. According to the 2001 Census of Agriculture, 893 farms reported they produced cattle in the 8A agricultural region, 98 reported pigs and 94 sheep. In 2004, there were 104,500 cattle and calves on farms in the 8A agricultural region, 21,260 pigs and 6,160 sheep.

From 2003 to 2004 the 8A crop district slaughter heifers, beef cows and steers increased to 5,000, 47,500, and 2,900, respectively. Most types of pigs were fluctuating in the past 5 years but market pigs increase by over 10,000 pigs, a substantially higher amount, which in turn increased the total amount of pigs in 2004. Sheep and lambs fluctuated over the past 5 years in the 8A crop district, but had an increase of over 3000 in sheep a year or older in 2002 before falling back into normal fluctuation.

Buffalo farming is becoming popular in this area. The Scott family also raise and butcher bison; bison meat is very low in cholesterol and tastes very similar to beef. Other farms are at Love and Snowden.

There is one Elk farm located north-east of Nipawin. The Jim Eberle family is raising elk and selling them for breeding stock. The herd has been successful as the climate and habitat in the Nipawin area is natural to elk. There are also elk ranches at Love, Snowden, and Smeaton.

There are also producers of fallow deer, wild boar, and other specialized livestock include emus and ostrich.


Nipawin and the surrounding area have one of the largest amounts of cereal/oil seed growers in Saskatchewan with over 30 growers. The Nipawin area has the only growers of rye and is the only area to grow all the types of cereal/oil seeds in the province. These other seeds include barley, flax, oats, canola and wheat.

Forage seeds provide a major opportunity in Nipawin and the surrounding area. Nipawin’s trading area has the largest amount of forage seed growers in the province. They are the only growers in the province that produce Birdsfoot Trefoil besides the RM of Barrier Valley and the only growers of Bluegrass. Nipawin has the largest number of growers for wheatgrass and Timothy. Among the other forage seeds grown, there is alfalfa, bromegrass, clover, and fescue. The only seed not produced in the area is vetch-chickling. This area is also the only part of Saskatchewan to grow sainfoin.

Bunge is the largest processor of canola/rapeseed oil in Canada. It has over 17 processing plants in North America. Nipawin is home to one of their six Canadian purchasing centers and processing plants. An expansion to the Nipawin plant will take place in 2007 doubling capacity and increasing production by 50%.

Pickseed recently acquired the forage processing plant from Farm Pure and is a leader in the development and production of turfgrass, forage crop, and hybrid corn seeds. Since 1947 Pickseed has built a trusted and proven reputation for quality product and agronomic advice and a committment to research technology. The Nipawin forage processing plant has capacity to process 8,000 to 10,000 MT annually. The plant consists of three cleaning lines and over 28,000 square feet in 5 warehouses. The main warehouse packaging line has the capacity to process 22 bags of seed per minute.

For more information on PickSeed, visit the Pickseed site.

Honey is produced in large quantities for the Nipawin community and the surrounding area. There are 36 commercial producers operating 31,000 colonies. Producers average 1000 hives per operation with the largest apiary carrying over 3000 hives. The smallest, from 1 – 10 colonies are run by beekeepers seeking honey production as a hobby. Honey production has a 10-year average of 128lbs/hive, which estimates into 4.6 to 5.0 billion pounds of honey.

Agroforestry is becoming a trend within the agriculture industry, it is the process of producing trees as crops. The provincial legislature declared 10% of the arable land should be populated by agroforesty. It benefits communities economically, socially and environmentally. Love, approximately 30 km from Nipawin, is home to a fertility trial area for hybrid poplars. There are testing grounds across the province for different types of forestry plants.

There are a variety of services related to agriculture available in and surrounding Nipawin. Over fifty services are provided including a feedmill, veterinarian clinic, at least five blend plants, agriculture implement dealer, regular seed BSF, and regular seed cleaner. Registered seed bulk storage facilities make up more than fifty percent of the seed facilities, with registered seed cleaners making up the rest. Nipawin’s major area of strength is the canola processing plant with a demand of 250,000 mt. Twenty five percent of the canola acres are within 74 km. Another international processing plant is located in Nipawin with a capacity to process 8,000 to 10,000 mt annually.
Hay Bale
Old farm outbuildings
farmyard posts
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