Agriculture

The economic activity generated by agriculture and related businesses, through employment as well as the buying and selling of goods and services, significantly strengthens our community.

Agriculture in Greater Napanee 

Farms by Industry Group (number of farms in Greater Napanee to date):

  • Beef Cattle Ranching and Farming: 35
  • Dairy Cattle and Milk Production: 22
  • Hog and Pig Farming: 1
  • Poultry and Egg Production: 3
  • Sheep and Goat Farming: 5
  • Other Animal Production: 34
  • Oilseed and Grain Farming: 45
  • Vegetable and Melon Farming: 7
  • Fruit and Tree Nut Farming: 3
  • Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture: 6
  • Other Crop Farming: 48
Economy

There are 209 farms in Greater Napanee (537 total in Lennox & Addington County), with 39,920 acres in crop production and 18,752 acres in pasture, according to the 2016 Census. 

Sales of farm products in Greater Napanee continue to increase. The total farm capital for farms over $500,000 - $3.5 million have increased by approximately 50% since 2011.

21 farms in Greater Napanee still run primarily as a family business

146 farms are either sole proprietorships or partnerships, and 2 farms are non-family corporations. 

Source: Census of Agriculture 2016

 
The Farming Community 

Our town is home to approximately 209 farms according to the 2016 Census. An estimated 1,320 Greater Napanee residents are involved in farming or an agricultural-related field.
Of the farming community, approximately 220 males and 75 females operate farms in Greater Napanee. The average age of farm operators is 55 years.

Grow Local

Here are a list of some of our local businesses who provide fresh and local produce to our community and surrounding areas:

  • Greater Napanee Hometown Market: Weekly summer Farmers' Market with local vendors selling fresh local produce.
  • Bergeron Estate Winery & Cider Co.: Enjoy not only one of their fine vintages, but also drink a cold glass of their off dry Cole Point Cider, or taste the authentic flavour of Nonna's Pizzeria Italian pizza. Located at 9656 Loyalist Parkway.
  • The Napanee Beer Company: Awarded 'New Brewery of the Year' in 2017, along with multiple gold medals at the Ontario Brewing Awards. Be sure to drop by the Brewery Store and stock up on all your favourites. Located at 450 Milligan Lane.
  • Spring Meadow Orchards: Whether it's your first time at Spring Meadow Orchards or you have been coming for years, they will make your visit to the farm special. A day spent apple picking, enjoying an apple cider donut and going on a pony ride is a day that will never be forgotten. Located at 10143 Hwy 33.
  • Wynn's Farm & Apple Orchard: The Wynn's have a passion for agritourism and a deep desire to share their love of growing fruits. Be sure to check out their 'pick-your'own' pumpkin patch and one-of-a-kind corn maze. They also produce apples, squash, candy and caramel apples. Located at 8191 Hwy 33.
  • Marina's Market: Marina's Market is a small family-run business, providing wholesome chemical-free and non-GMO vegertables, along with free-range farm fresh eggs. Check out this farm gate for in-season produce. Located at 3436 County Rd. 8
  • Heirloom Edibles: Heirloom Edibles is a small non-certified organic farm started in 2017 by Irene Bemister and Stan Saich. They grow a variety of non-GMO, pesticide and fertilizer free heirloom and unusual vegetables. Located at 1053 Melrose Rd.
  • Red Pump Farm: Sitting on nearly 8 acres of land, Red Pump Farm grows a whole mix of vegetables, herbs and fruit to go along with their contant supply of big brown eggs. Located at 4700 County Rd. 8
  • York House Farm: York House Farm is a small market garden growing fresh, healthy vegetables for chefs, restaurants, caterers and the community, including seasonal produce including carrots, leaks, radish, arugula, bok choy, broccoli, kale, spinach, and zucchini. Located at 252 McLaughlin Rd. (Stone Mills Township)
  • Bumblerock Farm: Bumblerock Farm is a small family farm in Roblin where they harvest their own honey, organic vegetables, heirloom seeds and free range eggs. Located at 259 Glennelm Rd.
  • Ripplebrook Farm: Ripplebrook Farm is a 3rd generation family farm operated by Kevin MacLean, his parents Barton and Barbara, and his step-son Taylor. The family milk 130 cows and crop 750 acres. The family always embraces opportunities to showcase the farm and often host tours throughout the year. Milking can be viewed from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Please call ahead for tours at 613-561-5185. Located at 7836 County Rd. 2
Agriculture Programs and Organizations
Our community offers a variety of agricultural programs and organizations:
Livestock Losses 
For information on Livestock losses, please see our Animal Services page.
Local Agricultural Businesses 

The agricultural economy in Greater Napanee is made up not only of farms but also of related businesses, including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. The Agri-food System benefits from many service and support businesses such as feed and farm supply, large animal veterinarians, farm equipment and financial services.

Local Agricultural Businesses:

Why Agriculture is Important 

Aside from the nutritional value of food, agriculture is important to people, the economy, and our heritage. The goods and services produced by agriculture and food industries account for about 8% of Canada's gross domestic product.  

Cannabis  

The Cannabis Act creates rules for producing, possessing and selling cannabis across Canada. As part of that legislation, provinces have the authority to regulate the use, distribution, and sale of recreational cannabis. 

On January 22, 2019, Council made the decision to opt in to the Provincial Cannabis Retail Store Program.

There are currently three growing facilities in Greater Napanee: 

Town of Greater Napanee Municipal Policy Statement on Cannabis

1.0 Purpose & Vision

a) The purpose of this policy statement is to provide input related to proposed cannabis retail outlets to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as well as help prospective recreational cannabis retailers in their consideration of location of cannabis retail stores in The Town of Greater Napanee.
b) It is recognized that the AGCO is the provincial authority that licences cannabis retail operators, authorizes cannabis retail locations and licenses senior store staff. The AGCO regulates and reviews all aspects of the retail operation including municipal and public input and that the proposed store location is consistent with the public interest as defined in the regulations.
c) The Town of Greater Napanee has chosen to allow retail sales of recreational cannabis within retail-permitting zones. The following provides staff with guidance on commenting to the AGCO when notice of a proposed cannabis retail store site is provided.

2.0 Principles for Cannabis Retail Store Locations

a) For the purposes of this policy statement, a cannabis retail store shall mean a store licensed by the AGCO.
b) The provincial licensing process does not remove the requirement to comply with the zoning by-law and other municipal planning documents. The definitions within the municipality’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law are applicable to all retail, including cannabis retail stores. Retail sale of cannabis from a provincially licensed store is legal and is a permitted use in the retail-permitting zones.
c) While the licencing of the store operation is the responsibility of the AGCO, the Building Code applies to cannabis retail store locations. Therefore, where a building permit is required, the building inspector will undertake duties as usual. Fire Code compliance is also mandatory.

3.0 Cannabis Retail Stores and Sensitive Activities

a) The goal of this Policy is to ensure: public health and safety is addressed, protection of youth is achieved, and illegal sales are diminished. Retail cannabis stores are discouraged where nearby properties are designed to serve youth including: youth centres, registered day cares, playgrounds, public parks, recreation facilities, as well as other sensitive facilities that provide any type of mental health or addiction services.
b) Cannabis retail stores should not be permitted within 150m of the sensitive areas listed below:
i. Navigable waterways where launches, public docking, patios, public green space, or gathering spots of children are encouraged;
ii. Public Parks, Recreation Facilities, Playgrounds;
iii. Churches or Sunday Schools;
iv. Registered Day Cares or Youth Centres;
v. Places providing any type of Mental Health or Addiction Services;
vi. Shelters, Protective Residential Locations, Warming Centres;
vii. Municipal Offices;
viii. Public Farmers’ Market Spaces;
ix. Interchanges of roads owned or controlled by the MTO;
x. Police Stations, Fire Departments or Ambulance Services;
xi. Correctional Facilities, Youth Detention Facilities and Probation and Parole Offices; and
xii. Locations for remembrance gatherings such as Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and War Memorials.
c) Attached is a map showing the retail-permitting zones of the municipality and the sensitive uses identified in Section 3.0 b).

4.0 Comment Preparation & Submission

a) When preparing comments to be submitted to the AGCO, planning staff shall have regard for:
i. Ensuring zoning allows a retail establishment as a permitted use and whether the provisions of the zone can be satisfied;
ii. The separation distances listed in Section 3.0 b) of this Policy are met; and
iii. The goal of Section 3.0 a) is met.
b) Time limits do not make it practical to bring a report before Council, the Director of Development Services, or designate, is delegated the responsibility to submit comments to the AGCO on behalf of the Corporation. Regular updates are to be provided to Council regarding correspondence with the AGCO

 Greater Napanee Zones that Permit Retail Development

 Below are maps of zones in Greater Napanee that permit retail development:

 

Tile Drainage Loan Program 

Tile drainage is a common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario. Corrugated plastic tubing, and concrete drain tile are installed beneath the surface of the agricultural land to drain excess water away from the crop root zone.

The benefits of tile drainage are increased crop productivity, more efficient use of the land that is being cultivated, therefore the more environmentally sensitive land may remain as natural environment.    

The Tile Loan Program, authorized under the Tile Drainage Act, provides loans to agricultural property owners to assist in the financing of tile drainage projects.

The tile loans have 10-year terms, with repayments made annually. Property owners are eligible for a loan up to 75% of the value of the tile drainage work, but OMAFRA and the Town of Greater Napanee may have policies that further restrict the total dollar amount of any loan in any given year. (For the 2022 program year OMAFRA’s loan limit is $50,000.00 per individual as an individual or in their involvement in a partnership or corporation. The partnership or corporation would be limited to the $50,000.00 loan limit so each individual involved in either the partnership or the corporation would be deemed to have received the value of what the partnership or the corporation had received.) The provincial government sets the program interest rate at a competitive level. This rate is fixed for the full term of the loan, regardless of changes in market interest rates. The interest rate is calculated annually, not semi-annually, as is done by most financial institutions. The current interest rate is 6% for the 2022 fiscal year. The full amount of the loan balance is redeemable at any time without penalty. 

Application Process
Tile Drainage Loan Application Guidelines are available here and loan applications are available by contacting the General Manager of Financial Services/Treasurer at pdowber@greaternapanee.com. The application must be submitted to Council. Once Council approves the application, the property owner arranges to have the work completed by a licensed tile drainage contractor (for more information on licensing, see the OMAFRA Factsheet Agricultural Drainage Licensing, Order No. 01-063). The Town of Greater Napanee will inspect the work and may charge a fee for this inspection. Once a month, the finance department prepares loan documents to send to OMAFRA in the amount of all the loans for that month. After processing these documents, OMAFRA issues a cheque to the Town of Greater Napanee, which distributes the loan funds to each individual applicant.

The Town of Greater Napanee collects the loan repayments from the owner and remits them to OMAFRA. Defaulted payments are rare but are treated in the same manner as unpaid taxes.

The loan can be repaid in full at any time. Contact the finance department to find out the amount still owing at the time of your proposed payout date. OMAFRA will provide the redemption calculation to the municipality. 

Applicant's Responsibilities 
 Consider installing tile drainage if you are the property owner and can answer “yes” to the following questions:
  • Is there a drainage problem on my agricultural land?
  • Will the soil on my land respond to tile drainage?
  • Is there a ditch or tile where my drainage system can be discharged that I may legally use?

Submit the completed tile loan application to your local municipality before any tile installation begins. Council may consider an application after the work is completed, where an inspection had occurred, but approval is not guaranteed, and council’s decision is final. Only the agricultural property owner may apply for a loan. Farmers wishing to tile drain rented farmland must make their own arrangements with the property owner.

Once council has reviewed the loan application and made their decision, the municipality will inform the landowner of the decision. The notification from the municipality that the tile loan has been approved will provide the information to the landowner on the process and the timelines required to notify the Municipality’s Tile Drainage Inspector. If the application is approved, the landowner hires a licensed tile drainage contractor to do the work. The Tile Drainage Inspector normally will inspect the tile drainage system while it is being installed, once the work is completed the Inspector will collect the required information for submission to the clerk to allow the loan to be processed, (i.e. copies of invoices, a tile plan).

After receiving the loan, the agricultural property owner is responsible for making the loan repayments. The Town sets the repayment method and schedule - either with the usual municipal tax bills or as a special tax bill on the anniversary date of the loan. 

Ineligible Costs
 Some costs associated are not eligible for funding through the Tile Loan Program:
  • The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST): Farmers are eligible to receive a full HST rebate.
  • Costs not related to the Tile Drainage: Indirect costs, such as the cost of removing tree stumps, cleaning up fence lines, land levelling, etc. are ineligible.  
  • Costs incurred off the property: Any costs incurred off the applicant’s property are ineligible.
  • Rebates and refunds: Discounts received for volume purchases of tile or for early payment are not eligible.
  • Work performed by an Unlicensed Contractor: Any tile drainage work that does not comply with the Agricultural Tile Drainage Installation Act is not eligible. 
OMAFRA'S Responsibilities 

OMAFRA is responsible for ensuring that municipalities are aware of the loan policies and program details. OMAFRA also processes the loan documents received from the Town of Greater Napanee and arranges the transfer of the loan funds to the municipality. The Financial Service Delivery Branch of Ontario Shared Services is responsible for collecting the annual repayments from municipalities. OMAFRA will provide the tile loan redemption calculations as well as accepting the payments for the redemptions.

Under the Agricultural Tile Drainage Installation Act, a contractor installing tile drainage systems must be licensed by OMAFRA. 

The Town of Greater Napanee's Responsibilities 

The Town must ensure that it has a valid borrowing by-law under the Tile Drainage Act and that it is aware of the details of the current provincial Tile Loan Program policies. Town Council must review each application for loan and approve or reject it.

Council may place borrowing restrictions on tile loans but must ensure that all loan applicants are treated equally. Council must appoint a drainage inspector to inspect the tile drainage work and file an inspection report. Once the work is completed, municipal staff prepare and submit the loan documents to OMAFRA.

After the Town receives the loan funds, it distributes them to the loan applicants and is responsible for collecting the repayments from the landowner and repaying these funds to the Ontario Shared Services. A penalty may be charged for late payments. 

 

*Photo credits by Erin Windover (Bayview Farms)

 

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