Crop Damage In Canada

by Jennifer Smith January 30, 2017

Many of you may be surprised to learn that agriculture is a huge part of Canadian's lives. Over 2 million Canadians are employed in the agri-food industry, equating to 1 in every 8 jobs. Even more surprising is that Canada is the 5th largest agricultural exporter in the world.


Produced Organic Goods in Canada

Although Vermont is known in the States for making the best maple syrup, Canada actually produces over 80 percent of the world's maple syrup. Additionally, Canada is proud to be the world's largest exporter of canola, flax, peas, lentils, mustard seeds and wheat ( a staple crop in Canada). Canada is also home to over 125 different fruits and vegetable crops, 4 million beef cattle and 12 million pigs.

With over 50 million hectares of classified agricultural land suitable for farming, growers need to take active steps to protect their crops from wildlife. Here are some wildlife agriculture damage statistics to help you better understand the importance of deer fencing in farms and home gardens:

  • Wildlife damage to agricultural crops is estimated by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association to cost farmers approximately $41 million in crops and livestock losses annually.
  • White-tailed Deer outnumber elk in Ontario 500:1. Elk damage and management is still a high concern.
  • In Ontario alone, 90% of crop damage is due to wildlife damage.
  • For all field crops in Canada, production for 2016 is estimated at 91.7 million tonnes (Mt), about 7 percent higher than last year but 6 percent lower than the record production in 2013. (Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
  • Wildlife reporting damage to crops include: White-tailed Deer (50%), Feral hogs (61%), raccoons (30%), rabbits (10%)
  • Deer cause approximately 45% of soybean damage and 40-50% of damage to wheat.
  • There are approximately 30 million white-tailed deer in the United States and 400,000 in Ontario, Canada alone.
  • Deer enjoy eating asters, wild roses, brambles, mayflowers, lettuce and grapes - among other herb plants.
  • Agricultural crops damaged by deer and wild pigs include wheat as well as soybeans, peas, and corn.

Deer Management on Farms and Gardens

 The most effective means for deer control is fencing. After all, deer are opportunists; and they will push their way into gardens if they are hungry enough. To successfully keep out deer and other wildlife from your property, DeerbustersCanada recommends installing fencing that is at least 7.5' tall to deter deer from jumping. We suggest that growers reinforce the bottom of the fence with fence accessories, such as ground stakes for digging rodents or a heavy duty fence with a reinforced bottom edge.

If homeowners are experiencing mild deer pressure, DeerbustersCanada suggests a poly deer fence. Metal deer fencing are best for areas with heavy deer pressure. No matter which type of deer fence you choose from DeerbustersCanada, homeowners will have peace of mind knowing that they are well on their way to being pest free.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith