Manitoba’s recovery from a 2011 drought, improved potato marketings in New Brunswick and changes in payment timing for Prairie wheat have helped boost farm cash receipts in the first three quarters of this year, Statistics Canada reports.
Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $39.9 billion between January and September, up 1.9 per cent from the same period in 2012, the agency said in a release Tuesday. This follows an 8.5 per cent gain between the first nine months of 2011 and 2012.
Farm cash receipts include market receipts from the sale of crops and livestock, as well as program payments. Cash receipts measure gross revenue for farm businesses and do not represent farms’ bottom line, as farmers have to pay their expenses and loans and cover depreciation.
Receipts increased in Manitoba (+14.7 per cent), New Brunswick (+11.9 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (+6.7 per cent), Alberta (+2.1 per cent), Saskatchewan (+1.7 per cent) and Nova Scotia (+1.2 per cent). Declines ranged from 0.1 per cent in Quebec to 3.3 per cent in British Columbia.
Market receipts from the sale of crops and livestock rose 2.5 per cent from the first three quarters of 2012 to $37.9 billion. Crop receipts were up 2.9 per cent to $22.1 billion, while livestock receipts rose 1.9 per cent to $15.8 billion.
Wheat (excluding durum) receipts totalled $3.9 billion from January to September, $980 million (+33.5 per cent) higher than the same period in 2012. Both a 25.9 per cent increase in average prices and a six per cent gain in marketings contributed to the strong growth.
Conversely, canola receipts declined $715 million (-11.9 per cent) from the same period in 2012, as marketings fell 16.7 per cent. Canola receipts totalled $5.3 billion from January to September. Despite the drop, canola remained the top grossing crop in Canada for the first three quarters of 2013, accounting for 24 per cent of total crop receipts.
Crop receipts in Manitoba rose 28.7 per cent, the largest provincial increase, as production returned to more normal levels following the 2011 drought, which had significantly lowered marketings in 2012. Manitoba wheat (excluding durum) receipts rose $348 million (+86.2 per cent) as marketings were up 65.1 per cent and prices rose 12.8 per cent. Gains in soybean, canola and corn receipts, mainly as a result of increased marketings, also contributed to the rise in Manitoba crop receipts.
New Brunswick also had strong growth in crop receipts (+27.4 per cent), as potato marketings increased 46.7 per cent from January to September compared with the same period in 2012. Potato production in New Brunswick rose to more normal levels in 2012, following a lower than average 2011 crop. In contrast, Prince Edward Island (-8.5 per cent) had the largest percentage provincial drop, as potato receipts fell 10.2 per cent because of declining prices and marketings.
Poultry, hog receipts up
Nationally, on the livestock side, receipts gains were seen in the poultry and hog sectors for the first nine months of 2013. Total chicken and turkey receipts were up $156 million (+7.8 per cent), as both marketings and prices rose. Hog receipts were up $128 million (+4.4 per cent) compared with January to September 2012 levels, despite marketings declines, as prices rose six per cent.
Lower cattle and calf receipts (-0.9 per cent) moderated the increase in total livestock receipts, as the total number of head marketed was down 1.5 per cent from the same nine-month period in 2012. A 37.6 per cent rise in the number of cattle and calves exported internationally was not enough to offset declines in both the number of head exported interprovincially (-12 per cent) and slaughtered domestically (-6.9 per cent).
Egg receipts totalled $698 million (+8.4 per cent) from January to September, mainly because of a 6.8 per cent rise in average prices. Dairy receipts were flat as a 1.5 per cent price increase was offset by declines in marketings. Total farm cash receipts for the supply-managed sectors (dairy, poultry, and eggs) reached $7.3 billion from January to September, up three per cent from the same period in 2012.
Program payments amounted to $2 billion in the first three quarters of 2013, 9.4 per cent below the same period in 2012. Increases in crop insurance payments (+27.7 per cent) were not enough to offset declines in AgriStability (-35.4 per cent) and Agri-Invest (-16.8 per cent) payments.
Some of the increase in wheat and barley receipts for the 2012-13 crop year (August 2012 to July 2013) can be attributed to changes resulting from the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, Statistics Canada noted.
Under the provisions of the Act, Prairie producers have the ability to market their wheat and barley (destined for export or domestic human consumption) on the open market, receiving payment at the time of delivery, or, voluntarily through the former Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). Under the CWB pool system, producers receive a partial or an initial payment at the time of sale. As the marketing of the crop progresses, adjustment and final payments are made.
The expansion of marketing options available to producers has resulted in a change in the timing of when some producers are being paid. As farm cash receipts are estimated on a cash basis — that is, when payment is received — this change has an impact on the data, Statistics Canada said.
Farm cash receipts data for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 will be released in May 2014. — Statistics Canada release