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Crops again boost farm cash receipts: StatsCan

Market receipts of Canadian farmers from the sale of crops and livestock totalled $19.9 billion between January and June 2008. Strong grain and oilseed prices were mostly responsible for the 12.4 per cent increase over the first six months of 2007. Revenues from January-to-June 2008 stood 25.7 per cent above the previous five-year average (2003-07).

Receipts for crop producers climbed to $11 billion in the first half of 2008, exceeding livestock receipts for the first time in 12 years. Crop receipts were up 30.8 per cent and stood 56.9 per cent above the previous five-year average for a January-to-June period, largely due to higher prices resulting from tight world grain supplies and strong demand.

Livestock receipts decreased 4.3 per cent to $8.8 billion during the first six months of 2008. The average price received by hog producers was 21.7 per cent below the price for the first half of 2007, as robust U.S. hog production and the higher Canadian dollar continued to pressure prices downward.

Including program payments, farmers’ revenue reached $22 billion from January-to-June 2008.

Program payments totalled $2.2 billion in the first half of 2008, down 2.9 per cent from the same period in 2007, and 14.8 per cent below the previous five-year average for a first half-year. This decline was due in part to improved prices in the grain and oilseed sector.

Farm cash receipts measure gross revenue for farm businesses only. They do not represent their bottom line, as farmers have to pay their expenses and loans and cover depreciation.

Farm cash receipts include sales of crops and livestock products (except sales between farms within the same province), and program payments. They are recorded when the money is paid to farmers.

Comparing the first half of 2007 to the first half of 2008, cash receipts for all wheat rose 56.7 per cent, with durum receipts rising 134.1 per cent.

Cash receipts for dairy products rose 4.1 per cent in the same period, while poultry and egg receipts rose 12.5 per cent. Hog receipts fell 21.4 per cent and cattle and calf receipts fell 7.8 per cent.

Receipts from crop insurance rose 60.7 per cent from the year-earlier period, while those from provincial stabilization programs dropped 62.4 per cent and those from “other” programs rose 343.6 per cent.

By province, Saskatchewan posted the biggest increase from the year-earlier period, reporting $4.57 billion, up 23.5 per cent. Alberta receipts rose 15.8 per cent to $5.12 billion. Among the provinces, Nova Scotia was the only one to see a drop in receipts from the year-earlier first half, by 3.6 per cent to $217 million.

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