MarketsFarm — New data from Statistics Canada on Tuesday showed Canadian farm cash receipts went up in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, on the strength of rising crop prices and exports.
The total value of farm cash receipts in the country totalled $71.7 billion in 2020, an 8.1 per cent increase from the previous year. Saskatchewan and Ontario posted the largest increases, receiving $2.6 billion and $1.3 billion more than in 2019, respectively.
Driven largely by greater export demand for Canadian grains and oilseeds, crop farmers received $5.2 billion more than in 2020, at $41.9 billion, a 14.2 per cent increase.
Statistics Canada also cited favourable growing conditions and record grain shipments on rail as other major factors for the increase.
The three crops bringing in the most money for Canadian crop farmers were canola ($10.3 billion, a 19 per cent increase from 2019), wheat except durum ($6.1 billion, a 13.9 per cent increase) and cannabis ($4 billion, a 73 per cent increase). Meanwhile, floriculture, nursery and sod fell by 12 per cent at $1.6 billion and corn for grain dropped by 9.2 per cent to $2.1 billion.
Receipts for livestock fell slightly by $208 million or 0.8 per cent in 2020 to $26.4 billion. Statistics Canada said this was primarily due to reduced capacity at meat processing plants early in the pandemic.
Cattle receipts went down by 4.9 per cent to $8.3 billion, with most of the decline attributed to slaughter cattle. Dairy receipts went up 1.9 per cent to $7.1 billion. Hogs, milk, eggs and chicken for meat all posted higher receipts in 2020, while turkey for meat fell.
Direct payments to Canadian farmers rose by $340.1 million in 2020 to $3.5 billion, with Alberta seeing the biggest rise at $214.4 million.