Canadian agricultural operations report C$642,681 in operating revenues on average in 2021, up 13.1% from 2020, Statistics Canada says; average operating expenses rise 7.6% to C$506,082; average net operating income up 39.3% to C$136,599

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OTTAWA , March 31, 2023 (press release) –

In 2021, agricultural operations reported $642,681 in operating revenues on average, up 13.1% from 2020. Average operating expenses increased by 7.6% to $506,082. As a result, average net operating income increased by 39.3% and reached $136,599 in 2021.

Crop revenues accounted for 47.8% of all operating revenues earned by Canadian farms in 2021, while livestock revenues accounted for 38.7%. The remaining revenues came from program payments, insurance proceeds, as well as from other revenues, such as custom work and machine rental.

Chart 1 
Average operating revenue and expenses, by farm type, Canada, 2021

Oilseed and grain farms have the highest operating profit margin

Oilseeds and grain revenues rose 16.2% in 2021, driven primarily by increases in canola (+14.2%), wheat (+12.7%) and corn (+21.9%). While the Prairie provinces experienced drought conditions, Eastern Canada experienced favourable growing conditions. Oilseed and grain revenue increases reflected strong export demand combined with reduced domestic supplies, which in turn led to sharp increases in prices.

Of the 11 major farm types, oilseed and grain farmers once again saw the highest operating profit margin, at 31.7 cents per dollar of revenue. This result was driven by high operating profit margins in the Prairies (34.3 cents in Saskatchewan, 32.4 cents in Alberta and 30.6 cents in Manitoba).

Prince Edward Island experiences almost ideal potato growing conditions

Record amounts of rainfall in Prince Edward Island was a welcome change from the drought of previous years. Prince Edward Island accounted for one-fifth of potato farming revenue in Canada. Nationally, potato farming revenue increased 4.6% from 2020 to 2021. This increase was driven by increases in Alberta (+14.5%), Manitoba (+7.9%) and Prince Edward Island (+5.5%). Alberta saw the largest growth in potato farming revenue, accounting for over half of the increase from 2020 to 2021.

Chart 2 
Average operating profit margin per dollar of revenue, by farm type, Canada, 2021

Major livestock revenues reach all time high

Total livestock revenue amounted to $37.7 billion in 2021, up 6.1% from 2020. Beef cattle production continued to be the top contributor in the livestock sector, accounting for over 40% of total livestock revenue. Dairy cattle and milk ranked second in total operating revenue amongst all livestock sectors, at $7.8 billion.

The average operating revenue of beef cattle farms was $472,000 in 2021, up 10.6% from 2020. The increase in average operating revenue was due to increased prices and strong global demand for Canadian beef, which increased export receipts. However, the average operating expenses also went up (almost +9.3%) due to increased feed and other livestock expenses due to a tightening of supplies from drought conditions in Western Canada. Consequently, beef cattle farms maintained the lowest operating profit margin of all farm types, at 5.5 cents per dollar of revenue in 2021.

Hog farms post largest growth in average operating profit margin among livestock farms

Hog farms had the highest average operating revenue across all farm types in Canada, at $3.1 million in 2021, up 15.8% from 2020. The average operating expenses of hog farms totalled $2.7 million in 2021, up 7.9%. As a result, hog farms registered the largest increase in average operating profit margin amongst livestock farms, at 11.8 cents per dollar of revenue, doubling the average operating profit margin reported in 2020.

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