The Ontario Federation of Agri,culture (OFA) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Ministry’s recently released Eastern Meadowlark Regulation proposal. It is encouraging that the Ministry of Natural Resources has recognized the negative impacts on forage production and livestock pasturing resulting from the addition of Eastern Meadowlark to Ontario’s Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) list.
Agriculture is a key component of Ontario’s overall economic output. In 2009, farm cash receipts totalled $9.6 billion. Over 1/3 of Ontario farms hire additional labour. Potential bobolink habitat impacts upwards of 30,000 Ontario farms, or in other words, over 50% of Ontario’s 57,211 farms. Approximately 1/3 of Ontario’s farmland acreage (4.4 out of 13.3 million acres) is dedicated to either pasture or the production of hay and other fodder.