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Melancthon (2006 population 2,895) is a rural Canadianmarker township in the northwest corner of Dufferin Countymarker, Ontariomarker, bordered on the east by Mulmur Township, Amaranth Townshipmarker and East Luther Grand Valleymarker to the south, Southgate Townshipmarker to the west, and the Municipality of Grey Highlandsmarker to the north. The township does not include the town of Shelburnemarker on its southern border. It has one of the lowest population densities in southwestern Ontario. The primary industry of the township is farming, especially potatoes with limited beef, dairy, sheep and horse farming.

The township was founded in 1853 as a part of Grey Countymarker and transferred to Dufferin Countymarker in 1881. Township council currently comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor and three councillors.

The township encompasses the communities of Conover, Corbetton, Horning's Mills, Melancthon, Redickville, Riverview and Shrigley.

Historical Population

  • 2006: 2,895
  • 2001: 2,796
The soils in Melancthon are unique in Southern Ontario, particularly the areas of Redickville, Conover, Hornings Mills (as well as Badjeros and Maple Valley in Grey County and Honeywood and Whitfield in Mulmur Township). The soils in these areas are known as Honeywood silt loam and has developed on the highest elevations of souther Ontario, where increased rainfall, cool nights and warm days are conducive to growing consistently high quality and yields of potatoes. Agriculture and Agrifood Canada report the potato is one of the most important vegetable crops in Candada, accounting for 34% of the total vegetable farms cash receipts. Production has declined in Ontario from 43,000 acres in 1998 to about 36,000 acres in 2007.

The Honeywood silt loam potato soil is less than 100 km from the Greater Toronto Area and provides "food grown close to home" with just in time delivery for customers from extensive storage, grading, packing and distribution infrastructure located within the potato growing areas of Melancthon Township.

Honeywood silt loam soils have developed on a 2 to 4 foot thickness of stone free cohesionless silt of windblown origin overlying 15 to 25 ft of often stony glacial loam till parent materials over karstic dolomite bedrock. Where the surface silt (loess) is thinner, the soils are mapped as Haiiston loam soils. These soils have very high moisture holding capacity and require minimal fertilizer and irrigation water inputs compared to the sandy potato growing soils used elsewhere in the province. Due to high rainfall and near total internal drainage, recharge is very high on the Honeywood soils area and is comparable to the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Honeywood soil area constitutes a major recharge area for the provincially significant Gasport (Amabel) aquifer formation.

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