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Canadian farmers increased income in 2020

Christian Fernsby |
Realized net income for Canadian farmers surged 84.4 percent to 9.4 billion Canadian dollars in 2020 as strong growth in receipts outpaced slightly higher expenses, according to Statistics Canada.

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Excluding cannabis, realized net income was up 73.9 percent to 9.6 billion Canadian dollars last year. Realized net income is the difference between a farmer's cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind.

The COVID 19 pandemic posed its own challenges for Canadian agriculture in 2020, the gains to grain and oilseed producers from rising prices and strong domestic and international demand helped boost net farm income for the agriculture sector in 2020.

Rising crop receipts fuelled by strong export demand combined with lower machinery fuel and fertilizer prices pushed realized net income higher in 2020.

Saskatchewan province accounted for more than two fifths of the national increase, while realized net income declined in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.

These four provinces did not benefit as much from robust export demand for grains, oilseeds and specialty crops, nor from lower machinery fuel and fertilizer prices, as agriculture industries in these provinces are not heavily concentrated in crop production.

Farm cash receipts, which include market receipts from crop and livestock sales as well as program payments, rose 8.5 percent to 72 billion Canadian dollars in 2020, the largest percentage gain since 2012, which saw a rise of 8.7 percent.

Market receipts for crops soared 15 percent to 42.2 billion Canadian dollars in 2020, while livestock receipts fell 0.7 percent.

Market receipts are the product of prices and marketings. Marketings refer to quantities sold, using various units of measure, such as metric tonnes for field crops and hundredweight for some livestock.

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