Ownership trends tracked

A study involving three universities tracks the changing pattern of farmland ownership in three Saskatchewan rural municipalities.

The work was conducted by Andre Magnan at the University of Regina in collaboration with Annette Desmarais at the University of Manitoba and Darrin Qualman and Nettie Wiebe from the University of Saskatchewan. It is titled Land grabbing and land concentration: Mapping changing patterns of farmland ownership in three rural municipalities in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The particular RMs, Excel, Lajord and Harris, were chosen because significant change was occurring in ownership patterns in each.

In those three RMs, Magnan and his team found that non-farming investors or funds now own between 7.8 and 13.1 percent of the land.

In one RM, four farm operations made up of a mix of actual farmers and investors own 28 percent of the farmland. The pace of outside ownership of land is increasing with most of the change in ownership patterns occurring after land ownership laws were relaxed.

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