Behind the Numbers: Farm Cash Receipts Paint a Picture of Canadian Agriculture

Statistics Canada shared its report on 2014 Canadian farm cash receipts last week. In laymen’s terms, these numbers are an estimate of how Canadian farmers earned their income last year. (The cash receipt charts do not account for expenses or depreciation, so in no way do they reflect profit or net income.)

Total farm cash receipts, according to StatsCan, rose for the fourth consecutive year, rising 4.6 percent from 2013 to $57.4 billion in 2014.


Update: (That chart, of course, can be complemented by showing how expenses have also climbed.)


Cattle and calf receipts were up 44 percent in 2014, leading the way when looking at cash receipts by commodity.


Total livestock receipts increased $4.1 billion (19 percent) over 2013 levels, offsetting a $951 million drop in crop receipts and a $586 million drop in program payments.


Saskatchewan led the country with the largest total (remember the huge inventory of 2013 crop left to sell in 2014), with receipts rising in every province outside of Atlantic Canada. Alberta recorded the largest percentage increase at 9.1 percent, followed by Saskatchewan at 8 percent.


The provincial breakdown provide context and a sense of how important different commodities are to provincial economies. Some of these numbers might be surprising (yes, Christmas trees were the 8th highest-grossing farm commodity in New Brunswick.) These pie-charts are sorted in order of total farm cash receipts by province.

sk_14fcr ab_14fcr on_14fcrqc_14fcr mb_14fcr bc_14fcr2 nb_14fcrns_14fcr pe_14fcrnl_14fcr

Click here to read the StatsCan report and the numbers behind these charts. The agency says it uses both “administrative and survey sources of data” to compile the data. That’s explained here.

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin


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