Farm incomes smashed records in 2015: Agriculture Canada

OTTAWA -- Agriculture Canada says 2015 could be a bumper year for farm incomes.

The department says in its annual farm outlook that farm incomes reached record levels in 2015 and will remain above average this year.

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"Our analysis shows that 2015 and 2016 should be among the most successful years in the history of Canadian agriculture," Rodney Myer, director of the farm economic analysis division, said in a conference call Friday.

"We expect that net cash income in 2015 will reach $15 billion, which is about six per cent above the record set in 2014."

The report provides a forecast of farm income in the agricultural sector for the previous and current calendar years and looks ahead ten years to longer term trends that could impact the agriculture sector.

Myer said they're expecting a decline to $13.6 billion this year, but he says that's still historically high. It's 14 per cent higher than the 2010-2014 average.

The average net operating income in 2015 is forecast to be $77,287.

The average net worth per farm is expected to reach $2.7 million this year.

"Early in the 2015 growing season, there was significant concern that widespread dry conditions in Western Canada would result in a short crop and a sharp decline in farm cash receipts," said Myer.

But Myer says "late summer rainfall rejuvenated withered crops."

The outlook says a projected increase in both crop and livestock receipts contributed to strong income levels.

Livestock receipts are expected to increase two per cent to $26.2 billion in 2015, while crop receipts are expected to have also increased two per cent to reach $30.7 billion in 2015.

The outlook also says lower oil prices have significantly reduced on-farm fuel expenses, while the lower Canadian dollar has improved competitiveness of agricultural commodities in export markets.

"If that persists throughout 2016, Canadian producers could see further improvements in the prices they receive," Myer said.



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