The value of farmland in Manitoba continues to increase but at a slower rate.
Manitoba farmland values increased by an average 1.3 per cent during the second half of 2010, Farm Credit Canada reported May 9.
That was down from gains of 3.4 and 5.9 per cent in the two previous six-month reporting periods.
In its spring 2011 farmland values report, FCC said the increase occurred mainly in the central region of the province where grain and special crops predominate.
The northeast, north-central, southeast and southwest regions saw little or no increase in farmland values. Wet spring and summer weather in 2010 limited sales of land in areas where beef production is a main agricultural activity. Acres of unused pasture were available in the Interlake region.
The continued depopulation of the hog industry may also have affected land sales in the southeast region. Overall, however, demand remained steady because dairy farmers in the region are looking for more land to meet stricter regulations for manure spreading, FCC said.
The FCC report listed semi-annual changes in farmland values for each province between July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The lending agency uses a benchmark of 245 farm properties to monitor changes in farm values.
Manitoba ranked in the middle of the provincial pack. Prince Edward Island recorded the highest increase in farm values for the six-month period (3.2 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan (2.7 per cent), New Brunswick and Ontario (both at 2.4 per cent), and Alberta (1.5 per cent).
Trailing Manitoba were Quebec (0.9 per cent), Nova Scotia (0.6 per cent), and British Columbia (0.4 per cent). Farmland values in Newfoundland and Labrador were unchanged.
Nationally, farmland values across Canada rose by an average 2.1 per cent.