CNS Canada –– Agriculture sector equity rose slightly in 2016, according to a Statistics Canada balance sheet on the industry.
Farm sector equity totaled $500.3 billion for the year ending Dec. 31. That’s a 4.5 per cent increase, or $21.6 billion, from the same period a year ago, according to the report released Wednesday.
Farm equity — assets used to produce agricultural products, minus the liabilities associated with those assets — for the previous four years reached $478.7 billion (2015); $449.1 billion (2014); $407.5 billion (2013); and $365.6 billion (2012).
The $500.3 billion for 2016 represents the smallest increase year-on-year since 2009, StatsCan said in the report.
Every province except Newfoundland and Labrador (down one per cent), and New Brunswick (down 3.1 per cent) posted farm equity increases.
Total farm assets were boosted by a $27.3 billion (7.3 per cent) gain in farmland values. Farmland values rose in every province, with Prince Edward Island recording the largest gain at 13.2 per cent and New Brunswick posting the smallest farmland value increase at two per cent.
Decreasing values for livestock and poultry kept a lid on potentially higher farm asset values, with those sectors showing a $3.6 billion fall in inventory values. Cattle and calf prices were down 15.8 per cent in 2016 compared to the year earlier and were cited as the main reason for overall livestock and poultry decline.
Total farm liabilities increased $6.3 billion (7.5 per cent) to $90.8 billion.
Farms’ debt-to-asset ratio was 15.4 per cent in 2016, up from 15 per cent in 2015. That’s slightly below the five-year average of 15.5 per cent.