Greenhouses, nurseries and flower producers report top Ontario farm income
Farmers Forum staff
OTTAWA — Total farm income increased in the first year of COVID restrictions.
The average Canadian farm family’s total farm income in 2020 was $179,724. Ontario farm families were slightly below the national average, with a total farm income of $178,456. The figure includes net farm operating income of $57,824 and off-farm income of $120,632, according to newdata from Statistics Canada.
The top four provinces for highest total farm income were Saskatchewan, P.E.I., Alberta and then Ontario.
Total Ontario farm income increased 5.4 % from 2019, while national farm-income increased 10.2 %. The biggest income bump nationally and provincially came from the crop sector. The lowest on-farm net income earners in Ontario were beef farmers with just shy of $5,000 on average.
StatCan defines total farm income as the sum of a farm’s net operating income plus the off-farm income of each tax-filing member of the family involved in a single farm. Nationally, off-farm income accounted for 61 % of total farm income, down from 64 % in 2019. But in Ontario, off-farm income accounted for 67.5 % of total farm income, essentially unchanged from 2019.
StatCan rolls together small farms with total incomes as low as $10,000 with the very largest operators in the country — and everything in between — to determine average farm income.
In Ontario, crop farms of all types led the way in income growth. They saw their total 2020 farm income rise 7.5 % over 2019 to hit an average total farm income of $184,852 ($57,115 net farm operating income, plus $127,737 in off-farm income).
According to StatCan, the increased income for oilseed and grain farms was due to export demand from China.
Here are Ontario total farm incomes by farm type:
• Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture operations saw the greatest income rise by 26.4 % to $355,948 (comprising $208,363 in net farm operating income; $147,585 in off-farm income),
• Potato farmers also saw a decline in their 2020 income, dropping 10.6 % to $287,873 ($179,480 net farm operating income; $108,393 off-farm income).
• Poultry and egg producers saw a 1.3 % decline in their 2020 incomes to $243,369 ($113,640 net farm operating income; $129,729 off-farm income).
• Hog and pig farms increased their 2020 incomes 7.6 % to $233,351 ($117,077 net farm operating income; $116,274 off-farm income).
• Dairy farms increased their 2020 incomes 8.1 % to $232,603 ($154,046 net farm operating income; $78,557 off-farm income).
• Fruit and tree farmers increased their 2020 incomes 3.5 % to $218,434 ($162,296 net farm operating income; $56,138 off-farm income).
• Vegetable and melon farms increased their 2020 incomes 5.5 % to $193,876 ($79,224 net farm operating income; $114,652 off-farm income).
• Oilseed and grain farms that increased incomes 7.1% to $174,517 ($48,125 net farm operating income; $126,932 off-farm income).
• Beef farmers — who rely much more on off-farm earnings — saw a 0.8% decline in their 2020 incomes, dropping to $119,450 ($4,905 net farm operating income; $114,545 off-farm income).
The average Ontario farm’s net operating income of included an average $9,078 in program support payments.