Only 23 farms in farm debt mediation filed for bankruptcy in 2020
OTTAWA – Despite turbulent times, very few Canadian farms run into insolvency issues. Of 191,000 farmers across the country only about 170 a year use the Farm Debt Mediation Service, a free counselling service for farmers having difficulties meeting their financial obligations.
In fact, only 23 farms in the program filed for bankruptcy in 2020.
“The rate of bankruptcy for farms is consistently lower than the rate of bankruptcy in the overall Canadian economy,” reported a Department of Agriculture audit. “There have been very few farm bankruptcies. The agriculture sector is financially resilient.”
The auditors also noted that “The Farm Debt Mediation Service has seen a decline in usage over a 10-year period to less than half the number of users.”
Fewer than 0.2 per cent of Canadian farmers use federal mediators. However, the federal agency has 14 full-time employees and a $2.5 million annual budget. Applications approved for mediation cost on average $14,519 each.