fbpx
-0.4 C
Elmira
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Group publishes guide for prospective new farmers

National Farmers Union of Ontario look to help young people get into an increasingly difficult industry

TRENDING

Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Candidates make pitch to voters in Woolwich

Largely sticking to their respective party lines, the five candidates running in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding made their one all-candidates...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
broken clouds
-0.4 ° C
2 °
-2.8 °
51 %
4.1kmh
75 %
Fri
1 °
Sat
-0 °
Sun
1 °
Mon
2 °
Tue
-1 °

The National Farmers Union of Ontario has published the Young Agrarians Ontario Land Access Guide to help new farmers find creative ways to succeed in the increasingly difficult industry. It was based on the original land access guide out in British Columbia, and adapted for accuracy and context in the province of Ontario.

“Land prices have risen exponentially in Ontario,” explained Ayla Fenton, an NFU-O board member. “Especially in southern Ontario, has some of the highest farmland prices in Canada. I think the average for Ontario is now over $10,000 an acre. In some other parts of Ontario, like Middlesex, London area, it’s like $16,000 an acre right now. When you look at the prices of commodity crops, or even higher value crops like vegetables, it’s extraordinarily difficult to pay a mortgage on those type of land prices by just growing food.”

The price of farmland has skyrocketed for a variety of reasons. Expanding cities and developments, limited supply, as well as foreign interest in farmlands have dramatically increased the prices over time. This guide will be particularly useful for those who come from an urban background looking to succeed in the industry.

“Economics of farming in general – we’ve been having a deepening farm crisis over the past 50 years that makes it very difficult for farmers to earn a living,” said Fenton. “For people who have not been able to access land through their families, like one thing we’ve been finding is that more and more farmers are coming from non-farm backgrounds and trying to get into it. For those people, it’s very difficult to purchase land. Especially given that to learn to farm, most of these people are working on farms earning minimum wage on a seasonal basis for many years, and it’s very difficult for them to get a mortgage, let alone save the capital required for say, a half-million-dollar farm.”

The inspiration for this guide came from the costly prices of the land, as well as the success of the Young Agrarians BC Land Access Guide.

“So we wanted to have a guide that would have some creative ideas and be a tool that young farmers could use,” added Sarah Bakker, regional office administrator at NFU-O. “So a lot of farmers are leasing land or working with a partner or having other creative means for accessing this land. But they don’t necessarily have a lawyer that they use on a regular basis. So we have these templates that they can use for their circumstances. We always do recommend professional advice. It gives new farmers a leg up when they’re looking to access land.”

The document is very detailed, being 103 pages in length. It encourages readers to think critically about their approach to farming: whether they are going to try a new product, or direct marketing. It touches briefly on the pros and cons of different farm business structures. It provides tips for assessing land for farming, as well as negotiating tips for a landowner.

Fenton predicts that the price of farmland will only continue to increase, although this is debatable.

“I’m sure it will continue to increase, and that’s what the projections are from everyone I’ve heard from,” said Fenton. “Academics and groups like Farm Credit Canada do an annual farmland values report. So that’s what the $10,000 average is based on. The Farm Credit Canada’s farmland values report. They do an annual report, and every year from the past, as long as I’ve ever looked at it, it’s always been increasing. In recent years, the rate of increase has been accelerating.”

Lawyers Burgandy Dunn and Rizwan Khan have legally reviewed the guide. Anyone interested in accessing it can visit the National Farmers Union. 

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings turn the screws on Brampton

Another home-and-home winning weekend helped the Elmira Sugar Kings solidify their hold on top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. A pair of...

Junior girls’ capture EDSS’ first WCSSAA basketball title

In a season that already saw the team rack up win after win, the EDSS junior girls’ basketball team reached new heights...

Woolwich stays course with economic development

Woolwich’s vacant economic development and tourism officer (EDTO) position will be retained, councillors decided this week despite any numbers or measures to show...

Virgil Wins the Lottery … but, then again, maybe not

It’s easy to day dream about striking it rich quick by winning the lottery, and all the possibilities that come along with...

Woolwich adopts new landscape guidelines for subdivisions as part of greening initiatives

Talk of trees right now typically involved the adjective Christmas, but Woolwich council is focusing just now on guidelines for planting in new...

New St. Clements fire station officially open for service

The new fire station in St. Clements was officially declared open for service last Saturday. The $1.3-million project...
- Advertisement -