OMAFRA Recommendations May Cause Problems

The message from the Council for the County of Essex: "One size doesn't fit all."

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is recommending a minimum size of 100 acres for agricultural lots. However, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos says with speciality farms like greenhouses and wineries that just won't work.

Santos says one rule for everyone isn't realistic in Essex County.

"They don't need 100 acres to operate a viable greenhouse farm and similar with our wineries, they don't need that size of a farm to be viable," says Santos. "They can operate with 15 acres they can operate with a 25 acre parcel."

Santos says 20% of the farms in the region are less than 20 acres.

"Those are the farms that we're being seen transformed into a winery, smaller family farms just in the area," says Santos. "But, those aren't being spoken to in this report and that's something we don't want to leave behind."

Santos says 20% of the farms in the region are less than 20 acres.

It's now up to each of the seven municipalities to discuss the issue before the County will adopt any agricultural lot size recommendation.