Statistics Canada has confirmed what many in the local agriculture sector already knew — 2013 was a great year to be a farmer in Manitoba.
New data released today shows Manitoba reaped the biggest increase in farm cash receipts — 14.7 per cent — in the country over the first nine months of this year.
That was a far bigger gain than any other province except New Brunswick, which saw an 11.9 per cent increase. It was also seven times the national average increase of only 1.9 per cent.
Farm cash receipts include the money farmers earn from the sale of crops and livestock, as well as payments from farm protection programs. Statistics Canada notes they represent gross revenue for farm businesses, not the bottom line, as they still have to pay their expenses and loans and cover depreciation in the value of their machinery and equipment.
The agency said total cash receipts jumped to $4.3 billion from $3.8 billion in the first nine months of 2012.
Local grain farmers fared particularly well, with crop receipts up 28.7 per cent. That was the biggest gain of any province, Statistics Canada said.
One of the main reasons for that was a return to more normal growing conditions following the 2011 drought. The drought meant local farmers had a lot less grain to sell in 2012, which took a huge bite out of last year’s cash-receipts total. The nine-month tally was up only one per cent from the same period in 2011.