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Farm income, 2012

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Released: 2013-11-26

The realized net income of Canadian farmers totalled $7.3 billion in 2012, up 31.7% from 2011, as farm cash receipts rose more than operating costs. This follows gains of 56.3% in 2011 and 16.9% in 2010.

Realized net income is the difference between a farmer's cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind.

Realized net income increased in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Farm cash receipts

Farm cash receipts, which include market receipts from crop and livestock sales as well as program payments, rose 9.2% to $54.2 billion in 2012, following an 11.9% gain in 2011.

Market receipts increased 10.0% to $50.7 billion in 2012. Crop receipts, which rose 15.6% to $29.9 billion, were the largest contributor to the gain. Receipts from livestock products increased 2.8% to $20.9 billion. Livestock receipts accounted for 41.1% of market receipts in 2012, compared with 55.7% 10 years earlier.

Stronger prices for grains and oilseeds played a major role in boosting crop receipts. For example, wheat receipts, excluding durum, rose 18.4% in 2012, mostly because of a 19.4% gain in prices. Canola receipts were up 7.3% to $8.2 billion, on the strength of a 6.3% price increase. The 56.2% rise in soybean receipts and the 28.0% gain in corn receipts were both the result of increased marketings and prices.

World grain prices began rising during the second half of 2012, as drought in the United States and other countries reduced world grain stocks.

Crop receipts rose in every province except Prince Edward Island (-0.2%) and New Brunswick (-6.5%). A drop in potato marketings contributed to the lack of growth in crop receipts in the two provinces.

Crop receipts rose 24.9% in Alberta in 2012. Increased prices and marketings for both canola and wheat helped push crop receipts higher.

Overall livestock receipts increased in all provinces. Cattle receipts rose 4.2%, as a reduced supply of market animals boosted cattle prices. Conversely, hog receipts decreased 2.3% to $3.8 billion, as prices fell 3.4%.

Receipts for producers in the three supply-managed sectors (dairy, poultry and eggs) increased 3.4%. A 9.2% rise in egg receipts exceeded gains for chickens (+5.2%) and dairy products (+1.7%).

Program payments fell 1.0% to $3.4 billion in 2012. Better growing conditions led to a 22.1% decline in Saskatchewan that more than offset payment increases of 17.4% in Quebec and 12.9% in Alberta.

Farm expenses

Farm operating expenses (after rebates) were up 6.7% to $40.8 billion in 2012, following an 8.3% increase in 2011 and a 2.1% decline in 2010.

Sharp increases in seeded acres on the eastern prairies, together with moderate price gains, pushed fertilizer expenses up 20.2%. Producers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba had seeded notably fewer acres in 2011 as a result of flooding. Feed expenses were up 9.9% as feed prices rose throughout 2012.

Depreciation charges rose 4.3% in 2012, resulting in total farm expenses of $47.0 billion, up 6.4% from 2011.

Total farm expenses grew in every province in 2012. The largest percentage increases occurred in Saskatchewan (+9.0%), Manitoba (+8.5%), and Alberta (+8.0%).

Total net income

Total net income reached $7.1 billion in 2012, a $1.1 billion gain over the previous year. The largest increases were in Manitoba (+$1.0 billion), Ontario (+$232 million) and Quebec (+$172 million), while Saskatchewan and Alberta saw declines.

Total net income adjusts realized net income for changes in farmer-owned inventories of crops and livestock. It represents the return to owner's equity, unpaid labour, and management and risk.

  Note to readers

Realized net income can vary widely from farm to farm because of several factors, including commodities, prices, weather and economies of scale. This and other aggregate measures of farm income are calculated on a provincial basis employing the same concepts used in measuring the performance of the overall Canadian economy. They are a measure of farm business income, not farm household income.

Financial data for 2012 collected at the individual farm business level using surveys and other administrative sources will soon be tabulated and made available. These data will help explain differences in performance of various types and sizes of farms.

For details on farm cash receipts for the first three quarters of 2013, see today's "Farm cash receipts" release.

Coherence with Census of Agriculture

Every five years, following the Census of Agriculture, the methods and concepts used to estimate the farm income series are reviewed. Estimates for farm income integrate a wide variety of administrative and survey data from many diverse sources. Consequently, this review is used as an opportunity to improve data sources, coverage and estimation methods.

As a result of this review, revisions back to 2005 are now available and are reflected in the data in this release. Estimates of receipts, income in kind, expenses, depreciation and value of inventory change have been revised, where necessary, resulting in changes to net cash, realized and total net income for the sector.

Table CANSIM table002-0001: Farm cash receipts, annual.

Table CANSIM table002-0003: Value per acre of farm land and buildings, at July 1.

Table CANSIM table002-0005: Farm operating expenses and depreciation charges, annual.

Table CANSIM table002-0007: Value of farm capital, at July 1.

Table CANSIM table002-0008: Farm debt outstanding, classified by lender, annual.

Table CANSIM table002-0009: Net farm income, annual.

Table CANSIM table002-0012: Farm income in kind, by item, annual.

Table CANSIM table003-0025: Value per head of livestock, at July 1.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3436, survey number3437, survey number3471, survey number3472 and survey number3473.

The publication Direct Payments to Agriculture Producers: Agriculture Economic Statistics, Vol. 12, no. 1 (Catalogue number21-015-X), is now available online. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Agriculture. The publication Net Farm Income: Agriculture Economic Statistics, Vol. 12, no. 1 (Catalogue number21-010-X), will soon be available.

Additional data tables are available from the Summary tables module of our website.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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