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Grains receipts push up net income for 2007

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Improved income from primarily crop-producing provinces carried the country’s farmers to an overall increase in realized net farm income in 2007.

So say the stats on farm income released Nov. 24 by Statistics Canada, pointing to realized net farm income of $2.2 billion, up $1.2 billion or 125.4 per cent from 2006 levels and a rebound from declines in 2006 as well as 2005.

Total net income – a measure that adjusts realized net income for changes in the value of inventories of crops and livestock – amounted to $1.2 billion in 2007, up from $129 million in 2006, despite declines in six provinces, StatsCan said.Netincome improved in Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Alberta’s realized net income rose to $176 million, and total net income also rose, albeit to $119 million in the red.

Higher grain and oilseed prices more than offset increases in operating costs, the agency said. However, many livestock producers were “adversely affected” by dropping prices, due to the rising Canadian dollar and higher feed costs.

Grains and oilseed producers benefited from marked improvement in prices in 2007, which rose to levels not seen in several years.

But cattle and hog prices fell 2.4 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively, resulting in a 0.6 per cent drop in farm cash receipts for cattle and a 2.4 per cent drop for hogs.

Overall, producers saw their operating costs rise, as feed and fertilizer expenses climbed 20.1 and 21.8 per cent respectively, while machinery fuel costs rose 5.6 per cent.

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