Aggregate and Agriculture

Understanding Impacts

PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER

Dr. W.J. Caldwell, Professor
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
University of Guelph

CONTRIBUTING RESEARCHERS

Ms. Michele Doncaster
OMAFRA Staff
Mr. Jeffrey Reichheld
University of Guelph, PhD Student
Ms. Emily Hehl
University of Guelph, MSc Student
Ms. Regan Zink
University of Guelph, MSc Student

SUBMITTED TO

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

executive summary

Across Ontario, aggregate extraction provides economic stimulus for many rural locales. Such operations often occur on agricultural land or within close proximity to productive farmland. Aggregate operations significantly alter the landscape and are often considered a nuisance to adjacent land owners. While research regarding the social impacts of aggregate extraction on rural residents has been conducted, little is known regarding the social, economic, environmental and land use impacts on farms in close proximity. This research seeks to identify the impacts on crop and livestock production along with corresponding best practices that can be utilized to mitigate these impacts. The goal is to see these best practices utilized early in the planning process to avoid conflict and negative impacts on agricultural production from future aggregate operations. This research will involve a jurisdictional scan to identify social, economic, environmental and land use impacts. In addition, both quantitative and qualitative methods will be utilized to identify impacts on agriculture (such as dust, noise and water) and promising practices that aggregate operators and municipal planners could use to limit these impacts. The goal of this project is to achieve compatibility, mitigate impacts and find synergies between the agriculture and aggregate sectors.

goals and objectives

The overall goal of this project is to achieve compatibility, mitigate impacts and find synergies between the agriculture and aggregate sectors.

The main objective is to understand the broad impacts of aggregate operations on agriculture land. As part of this objective, several specific goals exist:

  • Understanding the impacts of new and existing aggregate operations on nearby agricultural land, such as dust, noise and water and their impacts on crop and livestock production
  • Identifying the social, economic and environmental impacts of new and existing aggregate operations on
    farmers and farms in close proximity
  • A jurisdictional scan of land use policies across Canada and other international locations in order to identify best practices regarding the siting of aggregate operations in close proximity to agricultural land. These best practices would be recommended for future aggregate operations in order to avoid conflicts
  • To contribute to an understanding of appropriate content for agricultural impact studies