Agriculture - Value-Added

Roblin's warm sunny days, combined with adequate rainfall and rich, lacustrine soils makes it an ideal place to grow crops. Most farm operations in the area are grain or mixed grain and livestock farms. Crops grown include cereal grains such as wheat and barley and oil seeds like flax and canola. Many beef producers operate in the region since the terrain lends itself well to cattle production. In the past few years, several large hog barns have been constructed in the region. The barns produce top quality pork for export to world markets.

The town is an important agricultural service centre for the surrounding farming communities and is home to implement dealers, a grain elevator, seed cleaning services, vet clinics, farm and auto suppliers, fertilizer suppliers and chemical companies.

Soil and Terrain Overview for the Area

The land in the region is suitable for growing plentiful, quality crops as there is a high percentage of Class 2 and 3 soils. The majority of the region consists of soils developed on glacial till with minor sand and gravel beach ridges. Lacustrine soils occupy the lower elevation, while recent alluvium soils occur as terrace and flood pain deposits adjacent to the major rivers and creeks.

Physiographically, the RMs of Shell River, Hillsburg and Park (North) are all located in the Saskatchewan Plain (Canada-Manitoba Soil Survey, 1980). Most land surface in this area is rolling and hilly with the slope of the land increasing in Hillsburg and the R.M of Park (North) as one approaches the Duck Mountains.

The soil materials in these Rural Municipalities vary considerably. Areas surrounding the Assiniboine and Shell Rivers and Big Boggy Creek consist primarily of sand and gravel, often overlain by other materials. The deep ravines and side walls of the river valleys are often eroded and characterized by glacial till and in places, shale rock. The majority of soils are well drained with surface runoff collecting in various shallow ponds and small lakes.

Based on the Canada Land Inventory Soils Capability for Agriculture, about 75% of the land in Shell River is Class 2 and 3 for agricultural suitability with 50% in crop and 24% in grassland according to 1994 satellite imagery. Hillsburg is 28% class 3 land with 40% of the RM woodland and 28% grassland. Park North has 10% Class 2 land and 58% class 3 land with 21% in crop, 30% in grass and 40% in trees.

There are various areas of non-agricultural use with the Lake of the Prairies area and some of Park North focused on tourism. The main limitations to agricultural production in the area is topography, wetness and stoniness. These limitations increase with slope increases toward the Duck Mountains.

Land Prices

The Roblin area offers reasonable land prices for both grain and cattle farming. One can expect to pay almost half the price of land in areas closer to urban centres, such as Winnipeg.

Value Added Processing

Close proximity to raw materials (grain, lumber, livestock) makes Roblin an ideal place for value-added manufacturing. Close, convenient transportation services makes if easy to ship out finished goods.

Land Use (Includes RM of Shell River and Hillsburg)
Land Use Acres
Total Acres 910,355
Crop 508,123
Tame or Seeded Pasture 47,396
Natural Land for Pasture 250,396
Other 104,798

Source: Stats Canada 2001 Farm Census


Crops Grown (Includes RM of Shell River and Hillsburg)
Crop Acres
Wheat 67,461
Canola 44,488
Oats 12,411
Barley 20,665
Alfalfa 39,564
Other Hay and Fodder Crops 25,221
Flaxseed 6,248
Dry Field Peas 10,867
Forage 1,298

Source: Stats Canada 2001 Farm Census


Livestock, Poultry and Bees (Includes RM of Shell River and Hillsburg)
Animal Acres
Cattle & Calves 50,000
Bison 2,595
Pigs 7,844
Sheep & Lambs 5,073
Poultry 17,289
Bees 3,197

Source: Stats Canada 2001 Farm Census