( File photo )

Ontario greenhouse vegetable output has been on the rise and leads overall Canada greenhouse volume by a wide margin.

That’s the most obvious reality from the Statistical Overview of the Canadian Greenhouse Vegetable Industry from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The report said that Ontario in 2016 boasted 10.78 million square meters of vegetable harvested area, or about 69% of the total Canadian greenhouse vegetable harvested area of 15.6 million square meters. British Columbia ranks second among Canada’s provinces, contributing about 3.04 million meters or 19% of Canada’s total of the harvested area of greenhouse vegetables.

Quebec’s harvested greenhouse vegetable area in 2016 was pegged at 914,000 square meters, or about 6% of Canada’s total.

Ontario had 355 greenhouse vegetable operations in 2016, or about 40% of Canada’s total.

Growth rate

Since 2012, the report said Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable harvested has risen from 8.94 million square meters to 10.786 million in 2016, a gain of 21%. By way of comparison, the growth rate for all of Canada in the period was 17%, as total harvested greenhouse vegetable rose from 13.3 million square meters in 2012 to 15.6 million square meters in 2016.

Export powers

The report said the farm gate value of Canada’s greenhouse vegetables in 2016 was over $1.3 billion, 4% higher than in 2015 and 27% higher than in 2012. 

Tomatoes accounted for 41% total greenhouse vegetable farm gate value in 2016, followed by peppers with 31% and cucumbers with 25%.

Greenhouse vegetable exports account for 39% of Canada’s total fresh produce exports, according to the report. 

The total value of Canada’s greenhouse vegetable exports grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2016, up 49% from 2012 to a record $863 million.

The report said that Canadian greenhouse tomato exports to the U.S. grew from $264 million in 2012 to $337 million in 2016, a gain of 28%. The growth rate for greenhouse pepper exports to the U.S. for the same period was 55%, with value surging from $204 million in 2012 to $317 million in 2016. Greenhouse cucumber exports to the U.S. rose from $108 million in 2012 to $203 million in 2016, up 88%.

The U.S. accounted for 99.5% of all Canadian greenhouse vegetable exports in 2016, according to the report.