An Investigation of the Effects of Conversion Pressure and Fragmentation on Farmland Values in Alberta, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Bentley, Angela G
  • The majority of the agricultural area in Alberta, Canada, is situated in the southern half of the province. This also coincides with the population distribution as most Albertans call this region home. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are multiple competing uses and demands for farmland. The purpose of this thesis is to use a hedonic model to study the factors that affect farmland values in Alberta. This study also incorporates measures for conversion pressure and fragmentation to see what impacts these factors have on farmland values. Understanding the factors that influence farmland values will assist policymakers concerned about land use, farmers, developers, lenders, real estate agents and conservationists. Findings from this study suggest that Alberta farms are not unlike other North American farms found in the hedonic literature. For example, soil quality and irrigation have positive influences on farmland prices per acre, while the absence of a building or improvement has a negative influence. As for conversion pressure variables such as the distance to an urban centre or major highway, there is a negative relationship between distance and farmland values. Nearness to the largest urban centres in the province, Edmonton and Calgary, usually has a positive influence on farmland values. Similarly, the percentage change in population density of a county also has a positive influence on farmland values. Finally, the influence of fragmentation can be positive, but this interpretation depends both on the type of fragmentation measure used and the sample size. This last result highlights the complexity of the fragmentation issue, and suggests there is no single measure that can capture all of the effects of fragmentation on farmland values. Combined, conversion pressure and fragmentation variables do appear to impact farmland values in Alberta, and should not be discounted by policymakers or land appraisers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.