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Development and testing of a 'state of agricultural resources' reporting and monitoring methodology for Ontario

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Title: Development and testing of a 'state of agricultural resources' reporting and monitoring methodology for Ontario
Author: Gregory Geoscience Limited
Abstract: Agriculture and forestry are two of the main renewable resources that sustain the Ontario economy. Agriculture has play this role since the very early days of settlement. As with any renewable resource, it is imperative that it be managed properly to assure that it is sustainable. If not, the resource will be at risk of depletion leading to a major impact on the standard of living for Ontario in the future. This research project is centre around the development and testing of a methodology to monitor the state of the agriculture resources in Ontario. In the beginning, groups and individuals who might have an interest in a STAR program (stakeholders) were contacted to help define information requirements. In general, there was considerable interest shown by the stakeholders, however they provided little in the way of detailed requirements. A search of possible data types and sources that might be used in a STAR program was carried out. It is preferable if data collected for other reasons are used so that STAR project costs can be kept to a minimum. Data were divided into three categories, each of which reflected a different component of the Agricultural resource (economic, social and environmental). Samples of data were collected so that STAR indices could be developed and tested as possible components of a STAR program for Ontario. An indexing system is well suited for reporting and monitoring change. By selecting a base time period i.e. 1981 and equating the index value for that time to 100, subsequent values can be seen to move up or down relative to the base. The Consumer Price Index is a good example of this. Many of the indices that were tested for STAR showed that in the short term the agricultural resource is sustainable. However, the longer term trends would indicate that changes are needed to maintain the resource. Some of the indices showed that these changes may be starting to take place, driven by the desire for environmental harmony. A STAR monitoring and reporting program for Ontario would record the impact these changes will have and help agriculture in Ontario become environmentally and economically sustainable.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/15013
Date: 1995
Rights: In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights Holder: Agriculture Canada


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