Loss of prime Alberta farmland a concern as urban footprint tramps the landscape

By Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter)
February 14, 2018 - 2:30pm

EDMONTON - A report from the Alberta Land Institute warns too much prime provincial farm land is being lost to food production in favour of development.

The corridor from Edmonton to Calgary is most affected.
 
The report outlines how between 1984 and 2013 the amount of land in urban uses in that corridor increased by more than 50 per cent.
 
It notes that agricultural land loss in the corridor stems from population growth, price of agricultural land, road density and land quality.  A degree of fragmentation is also to blamed, as rural residential properties have increased exponentially.
 
 At the same time, fragmentation outside of the corridor decreased as average farm size increased and pastures were cultivated for crops. 

University of Alberta researchers say the trend shows there is a need for more discussions about land use and preserving quality farm land.

The study team is now working with specific municipalities to better understand the challenge of making short-term decisions that are consistent with long-term objectives.

A separate report from the Alberta Land Institute, releaed on Feb 9, 2018, shows Albertans are concerned about the loss of high quality agricultural land.

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