ONTARIO — In 2021, Ontario farms grossed $18.9 billion in cash receipts and netted $2.484 billion after expenses, according to the latest numbers released Nov. 28 by Statistics Canada.
Ontario farm cash receipts in 2021 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.
The growth in Ontario’s cash receipts largely reflected the Canadian trend between 2020 and 2021 but bucked the overall decline in net farm incomes in the same period.
Nationally, farm cash receipts grew 15.3 % in 2021 — the highest year-over-year increase measured in 40 years, according to Statistics Canada. 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 collectively had the highest net income in the country in 2021. Quebec farmers came second, netting almost $1.63 billion on cash receipts of $4.37 billion.
Saskatchewan farmers collectively had the highest net income in 2020, at $3.07 billion on cash receipts of almost $16.47 billion and second only to those in Ontario that year. 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.
StatCan attributes the increase in national farm receipts to higher prices for grains, oilseeds and hogs, though farm inputs also increased substantially. Fertilizer, fuel and feed went up 29.3 %, 24.5 % and 23 %, respectively.
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. But that measurement doesn’t change the numbers substantially for Ontario.