Outlook For the Canadian Agriculture Sector Shows Positive Performance

Ottawa, Ontario, February 27, 2013 – Three new reports released today by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are showing a positive outlook for farmers in 2013.

“The forecast for 2012 reflects that farm incomes are once again at an all-time high,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “The outlook shows that global demand for agricultural commodities will be driven by growth in developing economies, which is why our government continues to place such a strong emphasis on opening new and maintaining existing markets.”

The three new reports, the Farm Income Forecast for 2012 and 2013, the Medium Term Outlook, and the Farm Income, Financial Conditions and Government Assistance Data Book 2012, provide an overview of the financial and market outlook for the sector and offer a benchmark for producers, industry stakeholders, and governments as they plan for the years ahead.

Highlights

  • The Farm Income Forecast report highlights that farmers are prospering from continued high commodity and livestock prices. The sector will once again report record-high income levels for 2012 and can count on a continued positive outlook for 2013.
  • When the final figures are in for 2012, net cash income for the entire sector is expected to rise 14 per cent to $13.1 billion, which is a new record income level, and remain at a near record in 2013 of $12.9 billion.
  • While performance varies by sector, the average net operating income for Canadian farms is expected to reach a new record of $74,190 in 2012, 17 per cent greater than the 2011 level and 50 per cent above the 2007–11 average. The net worth of an average farm is forecast to grow by 8 per cent in 2012 to reach $1.8 million.
  • Average total income of farm families, which includes family income from all farm and non-farm sources, is projected to reach $127,106 in 2012, 8 per cent above 2011 levels.
  • Over the medium term, strong global demand, particularly from major emerging economies, will underpin continued strong prices and growth for the sector.
  • Assuming normal weather conditions, Canadian grains and oilseeds prices are expected to moderate from 2012 peaks but remain at higher than historical levels over the medium term. While cattle and hog sectors will see modest growth, a strong Canadian dollar and higher feed grain prices will remain challenges going forward.

For more information on the Farm Income Forecast for 2012 and 2013, the Medium Term Outlook, and the Farm Income, Financial Conditions and Government Assistance Data Book 2012, please visit Economic and Market Information. (http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1177676316971&lang=eng)

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Background

The Farm Income Forecast (FIF) is prepared in consultation with the provincial governments and Statistics Canada. Reflecting information available up until mid-December 2012, it is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) measure of the financial strength of the agriculture sector and its contribution to Canada’s economy. This forecast represents a federal-provincial consensus on the outlook for farm receipts, expenses, and net incomes for the previous (2012) and current (2013) calendar years.

The Medium Term Outlook (MTO) is not considered to be a forecast but rather a set of projections based on current policies, recent market conditions, and longer-term macroeconomic assumptions. Consequently it presents a “plausible future” for the international and domestic agri-food sectors in the decade ahead. It draws on recent economic projections from a number of sources including the Conference Board of Canada, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United States Department of Agriculture. Together with the FIF, the MTO gives governments and stakeholders a forward-looking benchmark against which alternative future scenarios can be compared.

Also released at the same time as the FIF and MTO is the report on Farm Income, Financial Conditions and Government Assistance (referred to as the Data Book), which does not provide forecasts. Rather, it provides a historical summary of economic and financial indicators from recent years, including government spending and assistance to the farm sector, all in an easily accessible format. The Data Book has been published by AAFC since 1988. The data are collected from different sources, including AAFC, Statistics Canada, Farm Credit Canada, the Bank of Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, the OECD, and provincial governments.

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