The main types of agriculture done in cold climates are livestock farming and horticulture. Advances in technology and careful planning have enabled farmers to expand the acreage under crop cultivation in cold climate areas beyond the Arctic Circle and in high altitude regions.
Livestock farming is by far the most common type of agriculture in cold climates. It is favored by the rapid growth of grass as a result of the long daylight hours in the areas around the Arctic Circle. The cold climate also discourages pests, and thus less insecticides and antibiotics are used. In mountainous areas, sheep are the most common livestock, while in the plains, cattle for dairy farming are predominant.
Careful planning has enabled farmers to grow specialty horticultural crops that otherwise would not grow in such a climate. Farmers in cold climate areas can utilize the short summer season to grow crops like lettuce, broccoli, peas and radishes, which have a short growing season. These crops can be grown in the open with no protection during the summer. The use of greenhouses in the Arctic Circle has enabled countries like Greenland and regions like Canada’s far north to grow horticultural crops like strawberries, tomatoes and pepper in greenhouses that shield the crops from frost and cold temperatures.