Home > New to Rural Ontario? Farm Facts for New Residents

New to Rural Ontario? Farm Facts for New Residents

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Our partners at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture have published a handy guide for residents who are new to country living.

Welcome to Rural Ontario

Understand Agriculture in your Area

Did You Know?

Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the province’s leading industries, contributing $47 billion to the economy and employing more than 860,00 people.  For Ontario farmers, these 52,000 operations are their business, as well as where they live and raise their families.

magnifying glassMore than 860,400 jobs and
$8.1 billion in annual wages and salaries



bar graph iconOver $47 billion contributed
to the Ontario economy in GDP



farm graphic52,000 business



Stay in Your Laneslow moving vehicle sign

Share the Road with Farm Equipment

Farm Machinery must use the roads to travel between fields and farms. This equipment is often wide and long and travels more slowly than other vehicles.  Be alert for flashing light and the distinctive triangular Slow-Moving Vehicle (SMV) sign which is only meant for farm vehicles, indicating the vehicle can travel at maximum 40 km/h.

Be Patient

Share the road.  Farmers have a limited time to plant and harvest crops that feed our communities.  Passenger vehicles incorrectly passing farm equipment results in serious accidents.

Did You Know?

6.5 seconds.  That’s how long you have to react when driving a car 80 km per hour approaching a tractor 100 m ahead, traveling at 25 km per hour.

Farms are Private Property – Assume ‘No Trespassing’private property, no trespassing sign

The countryside may appear to be “wide open spaces”, but farmland is private property.  Before approaching any property you must have permission from the landowner whether or not there are signs posted.

Did You Know?

It is illegal to trespass on farmland without permission; and you may be fined.

Respect Farm Property

  • Maintain Biosecurity – the high standard of Ontario’s food system requires biosecurity on the farm to prevent disease and infection in plant and animal populations.  Respect signs warning of such situations and do not enter.
  • Livestock Safety – fencing for livestock protects the farm animals and the neighbourhood.  Stay outside of the fencing area.
  • Stay on Marked Trails – even in the winter, always assume that fields can have crops planted.  Hiking or driving on fields without permission ruins crops that have been planted.
  • Keep Fields Clean – dumping household garbage, yard waste and creating fire pits on farmland damages crops, injures animals, pollutes water and disturbs the ecosystem.

Normal Farm Practices

Normal farm practices are activities that happen on the farm as part of the production of food, fibre, and other agricultural and horticultural products.  Some of these activities can create odour, noise, dust, flies, smoke, light and vibration disturbances.

Did You Know?


In the busy growing season, farmers
often work around the clock to plant
or harvest their crops?

Farm Facts

  • Farmers with animals spread manure at different times of the year.
  • Farmers are accustomed to caring for animals through snow, wind, sun and mud.  Animals in fields can be muddy in wet weather, and often sleep laying down, day or night.
  • Sprays may be required to control noxious weeds, insects, and fungus, protecting crops.  The Weed Control Act requires that weeds are kept under control on all properties in Ontario.
  • Keep garbage contained and disposed to minimize the attraction of wildlife such as coyotes, skunks, black bear and deer, which disrupt and endanger farm operations.

Ask a Farmer!

Do you have more questions about Farming? Some online resources:



Download a PDF Version of this guide on the OFA’s website.

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