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Diversification leads to stable farm incomes in P.E.I.
Diversification leads to stable farm incomes in P.E.I.

Farmers showing that province isn’t known only for potatoes

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter
Farms.com

Prince Edward Island’s producers generated a net total farm income of $54,537,000 in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

That number is up from $47,168,000 in 2015.

One of the reasons behind the increased farm income is farmers’ willingness to diversify their operations, according to Robert Godfrey, executive director of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture.

“For a long time people have associated agriculture on P.E.I. as simply potatoes,” he told CBC on Nov. 27. “I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. It’s by far the number one crop and it’s a very important crop but there is an awful lot of things going on now.”

Since the 2011 census, wheat acres across the province have increased by nearly 10,000 acres.

Soybean acreage has jumped by nearly 30,000 acres since the 2006 census. And farmers planted about 3,000 more acres of corn in 2016 than they did in 2006.

Average income per farmer in P.E.I. jumped by more than $7,500 to $64,325 in 2014 compared to $56,787 in 2013, according to Statistics Canada.

And the 2014 average farm income figures are only about $3,000 shy of the national average for that year.

The gains are modest, but at least there’s gains to report, says Godfrey.

“Net incomes at the farm gate are not extremely good, but they’re fair, and stable,” he told CBC. “Really it speaks to the diversification of agriculture here on P.E.I."

Top photo: Robert Godfrey