Without farmland, farming is not possible.

Farmland is the base of our agricultural sector, and having a robust and highly connected land base is crucial for maintaining the viability of our agricultural system! 

Without a robust and highly connected agricultural land base, incompatible land uses on adjacent properties may cause conflict that prevents agriculture from occurring.  For instance, non-agricultural development in an agricultural area can impede the use of Normal Farm Practices on surrounding farms, making it difficult for farmers to plant, grow and harvest their crop.

If the land base is fragmented by non-agricultural development, it can impede agricultural activity significantly. For example, farmers must be able to travel safely between farms with agricultural equipment. For farmers who do not have adjoining lands, travelling through non-agricultural areas with large, slow moving farm equipment can be unsafe.

Farmlands of lower-ranked classes are valuable resources that form an important part of our farmland base. Increasing protections for all farmland classes would help maintain the connectivity and prevent the fragmentation of the agricultural land base, preserving the foundation of the agricultural sector.

Ontario is blessed with unique microclimates around the province that provide growing conditions that cannot be found anywhere else. In these areas, specialty crops may be able to thrive on lower-ranked farmland because the conditions are just right! Although the land might not be considered “prime”, it is still incredibly valuable. When farmland is lost in the areas that are home to these unique microclimates, it is not just the agricultural soil that is lost. As those microclimates cannot be replicated, when the farmland disappears so does the ability to produce the specialty crops that depend on the conditions those microclimates produce. Protecting farmland of lower-ranked CLI classes will help to ensure that valuable and irreplicable lands like these are not lost forever.

In order to help ensure the long-term viability of our provincial agricultural sector, we need stronger protections for farmland of all soil classes.

Do you want to learn more about the true value of farmland? Check out our new fact sheet here. Also, check out our previous blogs to learn about how diverse Ontario’s agricultural land is, what farmland that falls into lower-ranked CLI classes is capable of, and what essential ecosystem services farmland provides.