START UP:  YOUR METHOD

There is a wide variety of farms in New Brunswick. These include supply-managed livestock, non-supply-managed livestock, crop farms and farms producing specialty products. Supply management means the relevant commodity marketing board matches supply to demand by allocating production quotas to producers and setting the prices for the commodity.

 

This ensures that farmers have a stable and adequate income and provides consumers with a high-quality and consistent supply of these commodities. However, the supply-managed commodities are heavily regulated and often the most difficult commodities for new farmers to enter.

Commodities

Some of the commodities produced in New Brunswick can be categorized as follows: 

  • Supply-managed livestock (a quota is required for this group):

    • dairy cows;

    • poultry-meat chickens (broilers);

    • egg-laying chickens (layers);

    • turkeys.

  • Non-supply-managed livestock:

    • beef;

    • swine;

    • sheep;

    • goats.

  • Crop farms:

    • potatoes;

    • tree fruit – primarily apples. A few plum, pears and other tree fruit; 

    • small fruit – strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries;

    • mixed vegetables;

    • grains, oil seeds, cereals;

    • forages;

    • wine grapes;

    • shrubs, sod;

    • floriculture.

  • Specialty products:

    • maple syrup;

    • Christmas trees;

    • bees – honey, pollination;

    • fur – mink, fox, rabbit;

    • ducks, quail.

For more information on each commodity, click here. Many farms are engaged in more than one commodity. In addition, within each commodity there are farms of different scales. For example, one vegetable farm might be 100 acres and sell all of its produce to a wholesaler, while another may only be two acres but sell all of its produce at a farmers’ market or through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

 

Within each category, there is a a variety of production and marketing methods. You can raise beef cattle on pasture or feed them grain and silage in a feedlot. You can have an apple orchard and sell all the apples to a retailer or sell them primarily through a U-Pick. What you decide to grow, at what scale, and the production methods you choose to use depend on your goals, the amount of capital you have to invest, your location and how you plan to market your farm products. 

Organic farming

One production method is organic farming, which restricts and in some cases prohibits the use of synthetic inputs. Most, if not all, of the above farm commodities can be certified organic. For more information about organic certification and production, contact one of the three following organizations :

  • Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN);

  • Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC);

  • Canadian Organic Growers (COG).

 

An important note for those wishing to use the word ”organic” for a product produced and sold in the province: New Brunswick has an organic grade regulation under the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission, which regulates the use of the word “organic”. In simple terms, any New Brunswick products sold in the province that are labelled as organic must be certified in accordance with the Federal Organic Products Regulations and the Canadian Organic Standards. To keep its organic status, a product needs to be certified yearly by an accredited organic certification agency. For a list of certified organic agencies, contact ACORN  or the organic and vegetable specialist with the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

Woodlots on the farm

Forests cover 85 per cent of New Brunswick, and woodlands often make up a significant portion of New Brunswick farms. Private forests play a vital role in our economy, environment and society. They provide many traditional forest products such as firewood, pulpwood, hardwood and softwood lumber. They also offer opportunities in non-timber products such as maple syrup, Christmas trees, wild berry jams and jellies, medicinals, decoratives, nature enjoyment as well as recreation and wildlife habitat. For more information about New Brunswick forests, several sources are available: the Department of Energy and Resource Development, the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners, or the forest products marketing board in your area.

Christmas trees

 Growing Christmas trees is another potential source of income for farmers.

Think about adding value

One way that farmers can increase their profits is by adding value to their farm product. You can turn milk into cheese, pork into sausages, wool into sweaters, or small fruit into jam. There are a number of small-scale processors of farm products throughout the province.

 

However, BEFORE you begin production of value-added products, be sure to contact the provincial Department of Health and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for any food safety regulations and food premises licences that may be required. (see Section 8.4 for details on provincial regulations). The Department of Health can provide guidance on CFIA requirements, if any.

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