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The report shows net cash income, or money available for everything from living expenses to machinery replacement, is expected to total approximately $12 billion — that’s a 24 per cent increase over 2010 and nearly 50 per cent higher than the five-year average.
Grains and oilseed farmers are expected to see net operating incomes 44 per cent higher than in 2010 and dairy farmers should see their income rise by about seven per cent. Cormack (Newfoundland & Labrador) dairy farmer Ian Richardson said on the local level there are a few reasons to be optimistic about the future.
“Commodity prices are high right now and there are more young people who want to get involved in farming,” he said. “And we have the most supportive provincial government in the country right now when it comes to agriculture, no one even comes close to what the Newfoundland government is doing for us right now.”
But as good as things look, he cautioned that it’s all about the volatility of oil prices and activities in world politics. The report does state that fertilizer prices will increase “modestly” over the next decade despite the positive economic outlook.
“We’re so dependent on oil prices, people don’t realize how the smallest thing that happens in the Middle East can have a direct consequence to food prices and how it ends up in the stores,” he said.
Cormack farmer Ron Burnett, who operates Ashland Farms, said increased commodities prices aren’t necessarily a good thing, unless you’re a farmer actually growing those commodities. For his dairy farm, he has to import feed from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which can mean a higher end price for consumers.