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Study: Canadian agriculture, the year 2008 in review

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The year 2008 was a good year for Canada's grain and oilseed producers. However, livestock producers, particularly hog farmers, felt a cost-price squeeze due to rising feed costs and virtually flat market prices. Production and inventory of both hogs and cattle fell significantly.

Large production of grains and oilseeds and higher prices contributed to an increase in farm cash receipts in 2008. Total farm cash receipts in constant dollars, which consisted of receipts from sales of crops and livestock plus program payments, increased 10.9%. Virtually all of the increase (96.2%) was attributable to crops receipts.

Internationally, exports of Canadian agricultural and fish products in 2008 increased 18.7% from 2007, while imports rose 11.7%. As a result, the nation's trade surplus in agricultural and fish products increased from $8.9 billion to $12.3 billion. The agricultural trade surplus accounted for 26.3% of Canada's total trade surplus, its highest share in 10 years.

The article "Canadian agriculture in 2008: An overview of key events" is now available in the November 2009 online edition of VISTA on the Agri-food Industry and the Farm Community (21-004-X, free), from the Publications module of our website.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Bishnu Saha (613-951-6051,, Agriculture Division.