Analysis shows Canadian farm income on track for record year

OTTAWA – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has completed an analysis of farm income for 2020 and 2021, and the results show Canadian farm income and the value of farms is expected to be at an all-time high.

This puts many farmers and farm families on a stronger footing and positioned to contribute to Canada’s economic recovery, states a Feb. 25 press release from the federal agriculture ministry.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau shared the results of the analysis while speaking at the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

The agriculture sector is expected to see significant growth in key financial areas for 2020 and 2021. In spite of recent challenges, notably COVID-19’s impacts on the food supply chain, the growth in farm income shows that the sector is weathering these disruptions and adjusting farming decisions well.

Net cash income (NCI) is forecast to have grown by 21.8% in 2020, from $13.5 billion in 2019 to $16.5 billion in 2020. In addition, farm-level income is also forecast to have increased in 2020, with average net operating income (NOI) per farm increasing by 25.4%, from just under $76,000 in 2019 to approximately $95,000 in 2020. Average farm family income is forecast to have increased by 8.6% to just over $194,000 in 2020, driven by increases in NOI from farming.

The grains sector had a very strong year, contributing to an 11.9%increase in overall crop receipts. However, disruptions to the workforce, shifting international trade patterns, and fluctuating commodity prices have caused challenges, including for some parts of the crop sector, such as horticulture. Livestock receipts were forecast to have declined 1.9 %, largely due to negative impacts of COVID-19 on the red meats sector.

Looking ahead to 2021, there continues to be uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. However, based on the expectation of a continued return toward normal market conditions, NCI is forecast to further grow in 2021 by 6.8% to $17.6 billion.