According to the new statistics from the 2021 Census of Agriculture, the rate of farmland loss in Ontario has increased to 319 acres per day.
The total acreage of farmland in Ontario decreased from 12,348,463 in 2016 to 11,766,071 in 2021, averaging out to a decrease of approximately 319 acres of farmland lost per day during this time period. This rate of loss is almost double the 175 acres of farmland lost per day that was reported in the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
The number of farms reporting to the Census in Ontario also decreased by over one thousand in this same time period, declining from 49,600 to 48,346.
Farmland loss occurs when farmland is transitioned to non-agricultural uses, many of which permanently prevent the land from ever being used for farming again. Urbanization is one of the main culprits, as new subdivisions with low density rates are built on farmland every day throughout the province. Learn more about the impact of soil sealing in our blog about it here.
The loss of our farmland will have negative impacts on both people and the planet. Over 860,000 Ontarians are employed by the agri-food sector, which is based upon our farmland. Additionally, our farmland provides habitat for species at risk and ecosystem services that will benefit the environment both now and for generations to come.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that we protect Ontario’s limited supply of farmland. Learn how we protect farmland forever here.
Statistics Canada. 2021. Census of Agriculture. Retrieved from Statistics Canada.