Canadian farm cash receipts, or gross revenue, fell 1.4 per cent or $307 million during the first half of 2009 to $22.3 billion, Statistics Canada announced Aug. 24.
The decline is mainly due to a drop in government support payments to farmers.
Market receipts from the sale of crops and livestock were up two per cent to $20.8 billion, but support payments fell 32.7 per cent to $1.5 billion between January and June this year. While crop insurance payments were up 24 per cent, disaster payouts were cut almost in half.
Crop receipts increased 2.4 per cent to $11.7 billion, while livestock receipts rose 1.6 per cent to $9.1 billion.
Surprisingly, hog receipts increased 10 per cent from the first half of 2008 to $1.6 billion. Despite the increase, Canada’s hog industry is still suffering, said StatsCan official Heather Miller.
“A slight increase in market prices pushed (hog) receipts up a little but the industry is in bad shape,” she said. “If you look at it over time 2009 is the second lowest (for hog receipts in many years).”
The Uni ted States’ country-of-origin labelling (COOL) legislation, the H1N1 flu virus, relatively high feed prices and the economic crisis have hurt the hog sector, Miller said.
Receipts from cattle and calves declined 3.2 per cent to $2.9 billion in the first half of 2009 despite improved market prices. Revenues declined as fewer animals were slaughtered domestically and exported to the U. S.
Cash receipts for farmers in the supply-managed sectors increased 2.3 per cent, due mainly to higher dairy and poultry prices. The sectors accounted for more than 45 per cent of total livestock receipts.
Strong sales, particularly for canola, soybeans and special crops, boosted crop receipts. Although prices have retreated somewhat from highs set in 2008, production and market demand have both been strong, StatsCan said.
Receipts from the sale of wheat and durum declined almost 13 and 43 per cent, respectively. Canadian Wheat Board returns for wheat in 2007-08 hit historical highs, but were the second highest ever during the 2008-09 crop year that ended July 31.
Miller stressed farm cash receipts measures gross farm revenue received and income. Farmers have to pay their expenses and loans and cover depreciation with the revenue they earn.