Prioritize prime farmland

Dear Editor:

Prime Farmland. It comprises less than 5% of Ontario’s land base and is mainly concentrated in southern Ontario.

It is considered by many, including the 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% 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 crop 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 back to the land’s 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!

Rory Farnan, secretary,
Citizens for Safe Ground Water, Wilmot