The South Shore of Nova Scotia has a rich history of agricultural output. Areas of southwest Nova Scotia have long been valued for their rich soil, temperate climates and prime farming lands. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in agriculture and local food production within the province. As part of this interest, a unique real-time weather-monitoring infrastructure has been established throughout southwest Nova Scotia that monitors, reports and tracks the area’s unique climate and it’s suitability for agriculture.
Many areas in southwest Nova Scotia have a long frost-free period and mild winters. Put simply, having a longer frost-free period means it has a longer growing season which is desirable for crops like wine grapes, day-neutral strawberries, primocane or fall-fruiting raspberries, sweet potatoes, and many other crops. Having milder winters is also more desirable for many high value but winter sensitive crops like vinifera grapes, highbush blueberries, peaches, etc.
The region of southwest Nova Scotia has a wealth of affordable farmland available and healthy agriculture, business and eduction infrastructures exists. The region also benefits from having access to consumers through a strong network of farmer’s markets and seasonal tourism events. The Atlantic Canadian and Nova Scotian consumers have long been supporters of farms, local agriculture and food.
Southwest Nova Scotia is well positioned to benefit from the growth and development of new agricultural businesses, ideas, innovations, opportunities and products for both domestic and export markets. An established network of farming-related business and infrastructure, including processors, retailers, wholesalers and contractors, ensures that agriculture will continue to contribute to the economic stability of the region for many years to come.
Recently, over a four year period The South West Nova Scotia Temperature and Solar Radiation Study was undertaken which monitored and analyzed the climate conditions at select sites around South Western Nova Scotia. The study has been successful at identifying unique microclimate locations where favourable growing degree-days and climate conditions exist. These microclimates can offer crop and livestock producers extended growing seasons, milder climates and expand the varieties of plants and breeds of animals that can be produced, potentially increasing crop quality, yield, market opportunity and profitability.
Annual Reports (for 2011 to 2015) are available and can be accessed via the AGRGs Weather Data website using the above link or on the South Shore Opportunities’ website which can be accessed Here.