Canada’s farmers grossed $41.8 billion from the sale of crops and livestock in 2008, 14.2 per cent higher than in the previous year, Statistics Canada reported.
The increase was fuelled mainly by higher prices for grains and oilseeds.
Crop receipts rose 25.6 per cent to $23 billion. Receipts from sales of livestock increased just 2.9 per cent to $18.8 billion.
Wheat and canola were the main drivers for improved cash receipts from crops. Wheat and durum receipts were up 36.8 per cent, while receipts from canola rose 42.1 per cent.
However, strong prices during the first three quarters of 2008 began to slip in the fourth quarter. Prices for wheat fell 31.3 per cent during the final three months of the year, compared to the average price for the first nine months.
While crop prices rose, the cost of their inputs more than kept pace. Fertilizer and diesel fuel prices increased 60 per cent and 37 per cent respectively during the first 11 months of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.
Hog cash receipts took a hit in 2008, declining 3.3 per cent. The main factor for the loss was a 27.5 per cent drop in revenue from live hog exports.
Revenue from cattle and calves increased 2.7 per cent, despite a slight drop in prices, aided by a 5.5 per cent increase in the value of cattle and calf exports.
Program payments totalled $4.1 billion in 2008, representing a 0.8 per cent increase.