Agriculture and science have roots that grow deep in Saskatchewan. With over 40 per cent of Canada’s arable land, agriculture has traditionally been the economic mainstay in the province. 

Merging these two essential areas of science and agriculture has created huge opportunities in Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry. Today, the bioscience cluster in Saskatchewan has grown to encompass two university campuses and two technology parks, as well as a number of provincially and nationally funded research institutions and technical training centres. These provide a stable base for high level research in the biosciences. The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has been central to the creation of the bioscience cluster, building scientific capacity over the past century.

Saskatchewan researchers are applying biotechnology for the development of hardy crops, more nutritious food and better feeds, giving farmers more options. Some examples:

  • Saskatchewan is Canada’s main producer of wheat, oats, flax, and barley.
  • Pulses are important crops here. Saskatchewan is a major exporter of lentils, with 96 percent of Canada's lentils grown here (2014)
  • Many wheat varieties were developed here, with better disease resistance and hardy enough to handle our climate. Research continues on this important crop.
  • Canola was developed in Saskatoon, through a collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada and the University of Manitoba.
  • Canada is the world’s largest exporter of flax (mainly for oil but also for fibre), and Saskatchewan has been the largest producing province since 1994.
  • About 75 percent of Canadian mustard production comes from Saskatchewan
  • Canada is also a major exporter of malting barley. Harrington barley was developed here and has become a world standard for malting barley quality.
  • Work is being done on camelina, a hardy plant with high oil content that has potential in many areas, from feeds, to fuels to cosmetics.
  • Other crops include oats, rye, triticale, sunflower and canaryseed. 

*Note: these numbers come from various commodity websites as of January 2017. 

Agribusiness is important to the well-being of the province, and this is recognized both at the government level and by the general population, urban and rural. This sets the stage for support in the long-term and understanding of industry needs.

Agriculture organizations