GFM Network News

China, drought, debt shake Canadian farm finances

Winnipeg/Ottawa | Reuters — For years, the financial stability of Canadian farmers was the envy of their U.S. counterparts, but rising costs, drought and a dispute with China have weakened their bottom lines. Net incomes plunged last year, and that setback was followed in March by China’s halting purchases of canola, Canada’s biggest crop. Now […] Read more

Report shows slower pace for rising farmland values

While lower-valued farmland more often showed a higher rate of increase, and price hikes varied from region to region, Canada’s farmland values on average have booked their slowest year-over-year rate of increase in almost a decade. That’s according to the annual Farmland Values Report from Farm Credit Canada (FCC), in which the federal ag lending […] Read more

FCC offers up new Starter Loans

“Preferential” loan rates are available to young farmers or agribusinesspeople planning start-ups through a new Farm Credit Canada lending program. Lawrence MacAulay, addressing the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s annual meeting Wednesday in Ottawa when he was still federal minister of agriculture, unveiled the federal ag lending agency’s new Starter Loan Program. The program, according to […] Read more

Farmland values are sensitive to changes in interest rates. FCC estimates that a 1% interest rate increase would slow the increase in farm values by 1.5%.

Farmland values and rising interest rates

As interest rates rise, farmers are wondering, ‘it this still a good time to buy land?’

On most farms land is the largest farm asset, which means it can also account for the largest portion of farm debt — especially for farmers just starting out, taking over from the previous generation or expanding the business. What can farmers do, in the face of more potential interest rate hikes, to make sure […] Read more

As interest rates edge upwards, it’s probably a good idea to know how much flexibility you have to purchase major assets, should the opportunity arise.

Is it too expensive to borrow money?

When the neighbour’s land is for sale, are interest rates too high to say 'yes?'

The best time to figure out whether or not you can afford to borrow more money probably isn’t when you get a tip off that the neighbour wants to sell some land at a really tempting price. But inevitably, it’s when faced with those kinds of situations that producers take stock of where they are […] Read more

For the most part, recent strong net income will take the sting out of interest rate hikes.

Rising interest rates, rising risk?

Farm Management: What do today’s rising interest rates mean for your farm’s balance sheet

There are a number of ways that rising interest rates affect farm balance sheets. They can negatively affect cash flow, can create a need to adjust short-term and long-term liabilities and affect the value of farmland that in turn can impact the farm’s asset values. “Higher interest rates will impact operations differently based on how […] Read more

Farm debt in Western Canada

Our debt levels are increasing, but our debt-to-equity ratios are holding steady

The headline of an article released by FCC near the end of September was a little worrying: “What does a new high in farm debt mean for the ag sector?” Between 2016 and 2017, total Canadian farm debt increased by 6.6 per cent to more than $100 billion. In Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the increase […] Read more