Canadian farmers overall saw profit decrease due mostly to western drought
ONTARIO — Canada’s farm gross income jumped 15 % in 2021 over 2020, the largest one-year increase in 40 years, while Ontario farm profits jumped by almost 50 %, Statistics Canada reported.
While farm cash receipts surged on the prairies, those farmers netted less income in 2021 than they did in 2020 — as a result of lower crop and livestock inventories caused by last year’s drought. That dragged down the net farm income nationally, which fell $1.7 billion to $6.1 billion in 2021 (without including losses in the cannabis sector).
Ontario farmers had the highest net income or profit in the country. In 2021, Ontario farms grossed $18.9 billion in cash receipts, netting $2.484 billion after expenses, according to the latest numbers released last month by Statistics Canada.
Ontario farm cash receipts were up 12.5 % over 2020, while net income was up 45.5 %. In 2020, Ontario farmers made slightly less than $1.71 billion after expenses on cash receipts of $16.8 billion. Cash receipts includes government program payments
Among provinces, Quebec recorded the second-highest profits among farmers, netting almost $1.63 billion on cash receipts of $4.37 billion in 2021.
The growth in Ontario’s cash receipts largely reflected the Canadian trend between 2020 and 2021 but bucked the Canadian-wide decline in net farm incomes in the same period.
This Ontario surge is a contrast from 2020 when Saskatchewan farmers reported a booming net income of $3.07 billion. In 2021, Saskatchewan surpassed Ontario’s cash receipts, hitting almost $19.15 billion, and yet its net farm income tally fell by more than three quarters to just $672 million due to widespread drought and scarce feed supply.
StatCan attributes the increase in national farm receipts to higher prices for grains, oilseeds and hogs, though farm inputs also increased substantially. Fertilizer was up 29 %, fuel up 24.5 % and feed 23 %.
If changes in crop and livestock inventories are not included in the income calculation, then Canadian farmers posted a “realized net income” of $14 billion in 2021 — up 49.8% from 2020, according to StatCan. That measurement doesn’t change net income substantially for Ontario.