The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
Farmland speculation: Senators study rising costs of agricultural land
October 28, 2016
Ottawa – Senators are investigating the rising value of Canadian farmland and its impact on the farming sector and food supply.
The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry study comes after conversations with farmers and from the work senators have done on food supply issues.
- The reasons behind the increasing value of Canadian farmland,
- The concerns of the agricultural community and challenges to acquiring farmland,
- Solutions to issues resulting from the acquisition of farmland.
Senators are also concerned about foreign ownership of farmland. They are determined to make recommendations to protect farmland for Canadians.
The committee began its study in Ottawa on October 20, 2016. Members heard that increases in high commodity prices, the lower Canadian dollar and low interest rates have contributed to a seller’s market that has seen the cost of farmland rise.
The committee is expected to present its report before June 30, 2017.
- 6.7 million hectares of Canadian land is used for agriculture — less than 7% of Canada’s land mass.
- Land values increased by over 10% in 2015.
- Farmland value fluctuates across Canada. In southwestern Ontario it can sell for between $15,000 to $20,000 an acre. In Western Canada is can sell from between $2,000 to $5,000 an acre.
“How can we ensure the sustainability of agriculture in Canada?”
- Senator Ghislain Maltais, Chair of the committee.
“Our next generation of farmers will face many obstacles, including production costs and climate change - but will the price of the farmland stop young people from even becoming farmers?”
- Senator Terry Mercer, Deputy Chair of the committee.
- Click to visit the committee’s homepage.
- Follow the committee using the hashtag #AGFO.
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Senate of Canada