Prime farmland. It comprises less than five per cent of Ontario’s land base and is mainly concentrated in southern Ontario. It is considered by many, including government, as the foundation of our economic prosperity.
Why then are governments willing to put this finite, non-renewable resource in jeopardy to gravel pits? In Waterloo region, 80 per cent of pits have not been rehabilitated, with the remainder questioned for its quality.
Prime farmland can be compared to owning a cottage on lakefront property. It’s desired due to the high soil quality, which can economically produce sustained high yields of crops. The loss of prime farmland puts additional pressure on marginal farmland, which generally is less productive, and can pose limitations to the types of crops cultivated.
As we continue to experience a decline in farmland, the need to prioritize prime farmland above gravel pits has never been more important. The National Farmers Union has suggested it is not possible to return gravel pits to their original condition, while the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has recommended gravel pits be prohibited on prime agricultural land.
With growing calls to protect farmland, governments are not doing enough to prioritize this vital asset. It’s time we do better.
Citizens for Safe Ground Water