Canadian Farms Of The Future: 3 Features Your New Land Must Have

It's always fun shopping for farmland, especially if you have a precise vision in mind for how your operation will succeed. As they say about buying horses: don't fall in love with the first horse you see. Likewise, don't buy the first farm that catches your eye or your gut. Take the time to examine each farmland for sale thoroughly to ensure it has the following 3 assets:

Room to expand and grow

Agriculture in Canada will continue to evolve and change as laws and public tastes do. For example, you may want to be a sustainable egg producer and you're searching for an existing layer operation to convert, since many consumers and high-profile chain restaurants across Canada now demand cage-free eggs out of concern for the welfare of the laying hens.

Switching a standard laying operation over to an enhanced cage or free range system will alter your strategies as to land use, facility costs and potential risks. Numbers that the current producer shows you will be irrelevant. Any alteration of an existing operation may increase or decrease yields, so be sure you're purchasing land with the space and accessible resources you need.

Walk the entire boundary of potential properties to determine whether your ideas for your farm actually fit the topography, and make certain future infrastructure can be accessed by utilities including water and power. Be realistic in assessing how much renovation or new building must be accomplished before you begin your own operation.

Neighbors who support you

Some say that rural folks don't care what you're doing as long as they know what you're doing. While this may be a complete exaggeration, it is a good idea to learn about the neighbors around any property you are considering for your farm and to let them know your plans once you do buy land. One couple believed their LED greenhouse lights would disturb neighbors, but the neighbors actually enjoy the pink glow. Don't assume that shy neighbors won't welcome or help you.

It may be rude in some communities to cold call neighbors, but a lot can be learned by asking a knowledgeable real estate agent who has been involved in showing other local properties. They are a good source for learning about what crops or commodities other neighbors are growing or producing on their land. Realtors also know which property may be slated for future development and which is protected green space.

The local convenience store or general store is often a good place to ask for directions and then start up a conversation about the community. You don't want to be the F.B.I. even when you know people a bit better, but merely make small talk as if you are a visitor on vacation. Local papers, church gatherings, social media pages and town websites are also sources to discover the community leaders, unique personalities and local disputes every town offers.

Access to good wi-fi

Farming is at the edge of a revolution. Like manufacturing and other industry innovators before them, farming leaders are learning to aggregate big data from many producers to learn how to practice what's been called precision agriculture.

Of course, farmers are busy people and haven't necessarily worked out all of the kinks in sharing their growth and harvest data with other growers. The hope is that a system will be developed which automatically collects data without a great deal of farmer input. Then the information can be sent to cloud storage for later cleanup and analysis.

Precision agriculture depends on closely monitoring conditions including temperature and precipitation. Wi-fi is necessary to stay on top of changing weather patterns as well as market conditions when it's time to sell.

A good wi-fi connection also helps you host a successful website for a tourism-related farm and helps you find new customers for a gourmet product business. Make certain that any land you purchase has the capability to get you on the internet affordably and reliably.

For a farm of the future in Canada, think ahead and make sure your new property has the potential to support your dreams.