Farmers Forum staff
CANADA — During pandemic lockdowns and restrictions last year, Canadian farming increased in value by an impressive 10 per cent, driven largely by upward pressure on land prices.
The farming sector had a total net worth of $627.2 billion at the end of 2021, up 10% from a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada, which reports the rise in farm equity as the largest since 2013. Farm equity increased in all provinces, led by Ontario (up 19.7%) and British Columbia (up 15.6%).
Equity, or net worth, is calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets. The $627.2 billion in collective equity (net value) held by Canada’s farmers works out to $3.3 million per farm, when divided by the 189,874 farms counted in the 2021 Census of Agriculture.
Gains in equity were driven largely by rising farmland values, according to StatCan. The 2021 Farm Credit Canada Farmland Values Report attributes increased land values to historically low interest rates, high commodity prices and a tight supply of farmland available for sale.
For the first time since 1981, all components of farm real estate (farmland, homes and service buildings) posted an increase of at least 10%. Over 80% of the growth in farm real estate value was from farmland.
Total farm assets grew 9.4% and hit $748.6 billion in 2021. Farm real estate accounted for the bulk of that growth, at $58.4 billion, according to StatCan.