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Record growth forecast for overall farm income in Canada in 2021


February 28, 2022  by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadian farmers and producers contribute nearly $140 billion to the country’s economy, and are responsible for more than two million jobs across the country.¬†Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has completed its farm income forecast for 2021 and 2022, and the results show that Canadian farm income reached record levels in 2021.

Despite COVID-19, the drought in Western Canada, the floods in British Columbia and other trade disruptions, the overall agriculture sector saw growth in 2021 and is expected to continue to perform well in 2022.

Net Cash Income (NCI) for 2021 is forecast to have grown by 49 per cent, from $17.8 billion in 2020 to $26.6 billion in 2021, mainly due to higher commodity prices. This represents a new record, exceeding the mark established in 2020. While the drought in Western Canada caused significant production losses, grain and oilseed prices were up substantially. As such, overall crop receipts are forecast to have increased by 17 per cent. In the livestock sector, hog prices have been very strong, contributing to a 15 per cent increase in livestock receipts. Program payments are also forecast to have increased due to higher crop insurance payments. While input prices in 2021 are also forecast to have increased, the growth in receipts is expected to have exceeded the growth in expenses.

Additionally, average net operating income (NOI) per farm is forecast to have increased by 59 per cent in 2021, from $91,500 in 2020 to $145,000 in 2021. Average farm family income is forecast to have increased by 27 per cent to $229,000 in 2021.

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Looking ahead to 2022, Net Cash Income is forecast to decline 25.8 per cent to $19.7 billion due to the impact of the 2021 Western Canada drought on supply going to market in the first half of the year. While this might be viewed as a substantial decrease, it is relative to the record levels of 2021; the forecast for 2022 would still be the second-strongest year on record. Average net worth of farms in Canada is also forecast to remain strong for 2022.

Building on this year’s forecast and record performance is further evidence that the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada is strong. Despite the impact of extreme weather, the pandemic and trade disruptions, the sector remains a strong aspect of the Canadian economy.

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