World Soil Day is December 5th!

Agricultural soil is one of our most valuable non-renewable resources. We rely on it to produce food for us to eat, flowers for us to admire, fibre that helps produce clothing, and even for fuel!

And yet we continue to lose approximately 175 acres of farmland every day to non-agricultural development. This rate is unsustainable and it will impact future generations of Ontarians.

Farmland is at risk all across Ontario, however current protections in land use planning policy focus on protecting soils that fall into Class 1-3. In reality, all of our agricultural soil is valuable, and capable of producing food and other goods for future generations. All of our agricultural soil deserves protection.

It is crucial that we protect all of our farmland. That is why OFT regularly provides feedback on provincial policies in order to strengthen protections for farmland. In the past, we have provided feedback on policies such as the Planning Act, the Greenbelt, the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, and more. If you would like to read our policy submissions, click here.

However, provincial policies are always changing, which is why OFT also works to permanently protect farmland with our Farmland Easement Agreements. We work with farmland owners who approach us to protect their farmland, and the associated natural and cultural features of the property, in perpetuity. If you would like to read about our protected farms, click here. To read about our latest farmland protection project, 350 acres in Prince Edward County, click here.

So, happy World Soil Day! We are happy to celebrate knowing that the agricultural soil on our protected farms is protected and will remain farmland forever.


Sources:

Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). 2015. Farmland at Risk: How Better Land Use Planning Could Help Ensure a Healthy Future for Agriculture in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. https://ofa.on.ca/resources/farmland-at-risk-report/

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). 2020. Classifying Prime and Marginal Agricultural Soils and Landscapes: Guidelines for Application of the Canada Land Inventory in Ontario. Retrieved from  http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/landuse/classify.htm#cap

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (OMMAH). N.D. Agriculture – Farmland: a finite, nonrenewable resource. http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=10864