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Farm cash receipts, first quarter 2020

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Released: 2020-05-26

Farm cash receipts (quarterly)

$16.9 billion

January to March 2020

5.5% increase

(year-over-year change)

Farm cash receipts data for the first quarter were collected during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on farm cash receipts will become clearer in subsequent releases.

Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $16.9 billion in the first quarter, up 5.5% from the same quarter in 2019. Crops (+3.8%), livestock (+3.9%) and program payment (+42.4%) receipts were all up from a year earlier.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Total crops, livestock and direct payments as a proportion of total farm cash receipts, January to March, Canada, 2010 to 2020
Total crops, livestock and direct payments as a proportion of total farm cash receipts, January to March, Canada, 2010 to 2020

Seven provinces reported higher cash receipts, led by Ontario (+$430.3 million), Quebec (+$274.0 million) and British Columbia (+$124.0 million). In contrast, cash receipts were down in Manitoba (-$46.0 million), Saskatchewan (-$34.4 million) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-$1.0 million).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Farm cash receipts by category, by province or region, January to March, 2020
Farm cash receipts by category, by province or region, January to March, 2020 

A strong increase in cannabis contributes to growth in crop receipts

Crop receipts totalled $9.3 billion in the first quarter, up $339.7 million (+3.8%) from the same quarter in 2019. Excluding cannabis, crop receipts declined 4.7%.

Cannabis receipts—which include recreational cannabis since October 2018 —totalled $1.0 billion in the first quarter, with Ontario accounting for just over 40% of cannabis receipts.

Canola receipts rose 5.8% to $2.1 billion in the first quarter with marketings up 12.0%, while prices decreased 5.5%.

Lentil receipts were up 52.2% to $355.8 million in the first quarter on higher marketings (+29.7%) and prices (+17.4%). Rising exports boosted marketings.

Wheat receipts (excluding durum) were down 10.7% as a result of lower marketings (-3.2%) and prices (-7.7%). Durum receipts declined 9.9% as marketings fell 16.5%.

Livestock receipts rise on higher hog and dairy receipts

Livestock receipts rose 3.9% to $6.6 billion in the first quarter, attributable to a 14.4% increase in hog receipts to $1.1 billion and a 5.9% gain in dairy receipts to $1.8 billion.

Higher marketings (+6.1%) and prices (+9.7%) pushed hog slaughter receipts up 16.4%, as export demand for pork remained strong in the wake of the lower herd sizes in Asia caused by African swine fever.

The supply-managed sectors (which accounted for just over 45% of total livestock receipts) rose 6.5% year over year to $3.0 billion in the first quarter. While all supply-managed sectors (milk, eggs, chickens and turkeys) were up year over year, dairy receipts accounted for over one-half of this increase, while chicken receipts accounted for one-third.

The combined cattle and calves receipts fell 3.0% to $2.2 billion. While the cattle receipt decrease was split between slaughter and interprovincial exports, the decrease in calf receipts was due mostly to international exports. Marketings were down in most instances. Price changes were negligible for cattle, while calf prices increased.

Program payments rise for seventh consecutive quarter

Program payments rose 42.4% to $991.7 million in the first quarter—the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. Crop insurance accounted for almost 70% of the increase, while the Dairy Direct Payment Program accounted for 15% of the rise.

Three-quarters of crop insurance payments went to the Prairie provinces, with one-half going to Alberta and one-quarter going to Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined.

Adverse weather conditions on the Prairies made the 2019 crop year a difficult one, mostly due to a cool, wet growing season. Crops were late to mature, harvest was delayed and producers had difficulty harvesting their crops before the snow fell.

Ontario also received 14.1% of crop insurance payments due to a difficult start to the crop year.

  Note to readers

As a result of COVID-19 and to provide Canadians with relevant data, farm cash receipts will again be released on a quarterly basis. The second quarter for 2020 is now scheduled to be released at the end of August.

All data in this release are in current dollars. Farm cash receipts measure the gross revenue of farm businesses. They include sales of crops and livestock products (except sales between farms in the same province) and program payments. Receipts are recorded when the money is paid to farmers. These do not represent their bottom line, as farmers have to pay their expenses and loans and cover depreciation.

Farm cash receipts are, for the most part, based on monthly marketings and the monthly prices of various commodities. Marketings are quantities sold, using various units of measure.

Data are extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources. These data are subject to revision.

For details on farm cash receipts and net farm income for 2019, see the "Farm income" release in today's Daily.


The Agriculture and food statistics portal, which is accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada website, provides users with a single point of access to a wide variety of information related to agriculture and food.

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