Farm Credit Canada says the average value of Canadian farmland increased by 7.4 per cent during the first six months of 2011, following gains of 2.1 and 3.0 per cent in the previous two six-month periods.
In its semi-annual Farmland Values Report, FCC said Alberta farmland values showed an average increase of 4.0 per cent during the first half of 2011, which followed increases of 1.5 and 2.9 per cent during the two previous reporting periods.
Values increased by an average of 0.7 per cent per month between January 1 and June 30, 2011. Farmland values in Alberta have been rising since 1993.
FCC said strong demand for good cultivated farmland was observed in southern Alberta. Large producers were competing for land, which pushed demand upward. Irrigated land suitable for specialty crops continued to be in high demand, with associated significant increases in value. Marginal land suitable for hay and cattle production also saw an increase in demand.
Elsewhere on the Prairies. Saskatchewan had even greater price increases, rising 11.6 per cent in the first half of 2011 on top of a 2.7 per cent increase in the last half of 2010. Manitoba prices rose 2.4 and 1.3 per cent respectively over the same periods.
Full figures and analysis are available at www.fcc-fac.ca