Farm income decreased to $8.3 billion last year, new Stats Canada figures show
By Diego Flammini
Canadian farm income dropped by 2.5 per cent in 2017, new numbers from Stats Canada indicate.
Realized net farm income was around $8.3 billion last year. That number is down from about $8.5 billion in 2016. The decrease is the first felt by Canadian farmers since 2013.
Provincially, producers in Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec all had lower net farm incomes than in 2016.
Ontario’s income dropped to $1.06 billion in 2017 compared to $1.42 billion in 2016. And Saskatchewan’s income decreased from $3.41 billion in 2016 to $3.09 billion last year.
Those two provinces made up the bulk of the national decline, Stats Canada said.
Farm expenses across Canada continue to climb.
Total national farm operating expenses were up 2.4 per cent from 2016 to $46.2 billion in 2017. That increase follows a 0.5 per cent rise in 2016 and is the seventh consecutive year farm expenses have increased, Stats Canada said.
Fuel expenses alone were up by 11.5 per cent, Stats Canada said.
Provincially, Alberta farmers paid $10.4 billion in farm operating expenses, a 3.8 per cent increase from last year and the highest in the country.
Quebec producers paid $6.6 billion in operating expenses in 2017. That increase represents a 0.8 per cent increase and the lowest in Canada.
Farm cash receipts were up across Canada for the seventh consecutive year.
Total farm cash receipts increased by 1.8 per cent to $61.6 billion in 2017.
On a commodity level, livestock receipts increased by 4.5 per cent to $25 billion.
Crop receipts were on par with 2016 at $34.1 billion but some crop revenues did fall.
Notably, lentil revenues decreased by 45.7 per cent and dry pea receipts dropped by 30 per cent, Stats Canada said. Soybean receipts fell by 6.5 per cent.
In contrast, canola receipts increased by 7.3 per cent and wheat revenues increased by 13.2 per cent, Stats Canada said.