A drop of almost 32.7 per cent in payments from ag programs such as income disaster assistance offset Canadian farmers’ small gains in crop and livestock receipts in the first half of 2009.
Statistics Canada reported Monday that total farm cash receipts for the first half of 2009 totalled $22.29 billion, down 1.4 per cent from $22.59 billion in the same period of 2008.
Total market receipts — that is, gross revenue from crops and livestock, before any expenses — were up two per cent at $20.81 billion for the January-through-June period.
Crop receipts increased 2.4 per cent to $11.69 billion, while livestock receipts rose 1.6 per cent to $9.12 billion, the federal statistics agency said.
“Although (crop) prices have retreated somewhat from highs set in 2008, production and market demand have both been strong,” StatsCan said, crediting particularly strong sales in canola and wheat (other than durum).
Canola receipts were up 18.1 per cent at $2.76 billion, while wheat (other than durum) receipts were down 12.7 per cent at $1.82 billion. Durum receipts dropped 43.3 per cent to $497 million. Soybean revenue rose 31.6 per cent to $562 million, while potato revenue rose 35.1 per cent to $596 million.
In the livestock sector, hog receipts increased 10.2 per cent from the first half of 2008 to $1.6 billion. Despite this increase, hog prices and receipts remained at low levels, StatsCan said.
Cattle and calves receipts fell 3.2 per cent to $2.9 billion in the first half of 2009, despite improved market prices. Receipts declined as fewer animals were slaughtered domestically and fewer animals were exported to the U.S., the agency said.
Cash receipts for farmers in the supply-managed sector increased rose 2.3 per cent, due mainly to higher dairy and poultry prices, StatsCan said, noting the supply-managed sector accounted for over 45 per cent of total livestock receipts.
Farmers’ receipts from crop insurance programs rose 24 per cent in the first half of the year to $289 million, while provincial stabilization programs contributed $232 million to farmers’ gross revenue, up 28.2 per cent.
Income disaster assistance payments fell 47.3 per cent to $721 million in the first half of this year, StatsCan said.
On a province-by-province basis, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick posted the largest percentage increases in farm cash receipts, up 15.9 and 10.8 per cent respectively, followed by Quebec, up 4.7 per cent, and Manitoba, up 0.7 per cent.
Gross farm revenues fell 4.3 per cent in Ontario and Nova Scotia, 3.8 per cent in British Columbia, 3.5 per cent in Alberta, two per cent in Saskatchewan and 6.8 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Total farm cash receipts for the first half of 2009 were largest in Alberta ($5.01 billion), Saskatchewan ($4.76 billion), Ontario ($4.52 billion) and Quebec ($3.6 billion).