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Net farm income not as great as statistics indicate

According to Statistics Canada, net farm income in 2020 jumped 23.2 per cent in Saskatchewan
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According to Statistics Canada, net farm income in 2020 jumped 23.2 per cent in Saskatchewan.

Data shows total net income of $3.025 billion, up from $2.923 billion in the previous year.

Data also shows almost two-thirds of net income came from selling off inventory of grain and livestock. Saskatchewan farmers sold $1.119 billion inventory last year compared with increased inventories of 658 million in 2019.

Farm cash receipts in Saskatchewan last year increased 18 per cent to $16.642 billion but expenses were up only 1.9 per cent to $10.373 billion.

In Alberta, farm cash receipts increased 9.5 per cent to $15.429 billion while expenses were up 4.1 per cent.

Net income increased 63 per cent to $1.072 billion with one-quarter of the increase from sale of inventory.

In Manitoba, farm receipts were up 5.4 per cent to $7.026 billion and expenses decreased one-half per cent.

Net farm income was up 93.8 per cent to $791 million with one-quarter of the increase from sale of inventory.

Across Canada, total farm receipts were up 8.5 per cent to $72 billion. Expenses increased 1.9 per cent to $54.187 billion.

Lower farm fuel and fertilizer costs kept expense increases down.

Net farm income increased 45.6 per cent to $8.463 billion. Sales of inventory made up two-thirds of the increased income.

Canola and lentil receipts increased with canola up 19 per cent, the largest increase since 38.2 per cent in 2011.

Canola prices were up 3.6 per cent while sales jumped 14.8 per cent as oilseed demand and exports to Europe offset lower sales to China.

Lentil receipts doubled last year from a 38 per cent price increase and 49 per cent gains in sales. Turkey and India took more of the crop.

Wheat, excluding durum, saw a 10.7 per cent increase in receipts.

Farm cash receipts for Canada’s largest crop by tonnes produced — wheat, excluding durum — increased by 10.7 per cent, as marketings rose 11.7 per cent.

Feed grain exports to China increased even with political tensions.

Cattle receipts were 3.9 per cent lower as Covid-related supply chain issues reduced prices and marketings.

Direct payment from farm safety net programs increased 10.8 per cent to $3.5 billion — or 44 per cent of net income.

Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@sasktel.net