Canadian farmers’ net income slipped slightly in 2009 as sales revenue for livestock fell faster than declining farm expenses, Statistics Canada said on May 25.
Realized net farm income – the difference between a farmer’s cash receipts and operating expenses minus depreciation plus income in kind – eased 0.3 per cent to $3.6 billion ($3.3 billion) in 2009, after rising in each of the previous two years.
Agriculture suppliers, such as machinery and fertilizer dealers, monitor farm incomes for their relationship to sales.
Realized net income fell in four provinces – Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia – while increasing in the others.
Livestock receipts dropped 4.8 per cent to $17.9 billion, mainly because of a sharp decline in the number of animals exported after a U. S. meat-labelling law took effect.
Crop receipts, amounting to $23 billion, rose 0.1 per cent.
Farm expenses such as machinery fuel, interest and fertilizer, fell four per cent in 2009 to $40.6 billion, the first decrease since 1986.
Farm cash receipts have taken a sharper drop in the first quarter of 2010, StatsCan said.
Receipts dropped 12.3 per cent from the same period in 2009 to $10.5 billion.
Market receipts from sales of crops fell 17.4 per cent to $5.3 billion, which is the first decline in four years. The drop is mainly due to lower prices for major grains and oilseeds, StatsCan said.
Livestock sales receipts in the first quarter fell 4.4 per cent to $4.5 billion.