Greenbelt decline

Animal agriculture declining in Ontario, especially in Greenbelt.

Last week, University of Guelph rural planning researchers unveiled a study showing animal agriculture involving species you’d normally associate with farming – dairy and beef cows, pigs and chickens, for example—is slipping away inside the greenbelt. In their study, A Profile Of The Agricultural Economy In The Ontario Greenbelt, Prof. Harry Cummings and graduate students Sarah Megens and Sandra Moreau note traditional animal agriculture across the province is dwindling. But, they say, the figures are appreciably more dramatic in Ontario’s the greenbelt than elsewhere.

For example, dairy farms decreased by 28 per cent in the greenbelt, compared to 23 per cent provincewide. The same goes for beef farms – which declined by 24 per cent, compared to 13 per cent across Ontario. And hog farms, which fell by 11 per cent provincially, experienced a 27 per cent reduction in the greenbelt.

Provincewide figures are alarming enough. Greenbelt figures are practically shocking.

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