Considering the Value of "Marginal" Agricultural Lands : Planning Analysis of Agricultural Resource Land Protection in Ontario
thesisposted on 25.05.2021, 07:15 by John O'Neill
Agricultural land resources are an essential element required to sustain agricultural production. While the Province of Ontario has implemented policies that aim to protect these lands from other types of development, this finite resource continues to diminish as the demand for food continues to grow. At this time the Province is undertaking a review of existing policies related to matters of provincial interest, including agriculture and therefore presents an important opportunity to re-evaluate the policies, in particular as it relates to what lands qualify as prime agricultural land worthy of protection. Historical and emerging agricultural practices have demonstrated that Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Class 4 soils can be productive. The report examines the potential merit of expanding the existing defining criteria of prime agricultural land from just CLI Class 1, 2, and 3 soils to also include CLI Class 4 and attempts to demonstrate the impact this would have on agricultural land use planning in Ontario. To help demonstrate a site specific evaluation of a portion of Peterborough County has been conducted to provide a visual representation.