From Statistics Canada – The Daily
Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $14.2 billion during the first quarter, down 9.6% from the same period in 2013. The decrease followed three consecutive year-over-year increases for the January-to-March period.
Farm cash receipts, which include crop and livestock revenues as well as program payments, decreased in every province except Quebec (+3.7%), British Columbia (+2.0%) and Nova Scotia (+0.3%). Decreases ranged from 1.8% in Prince Edward Island to 16.8% in Alberta.
Market receipts from the sale of crops and livestock were down 7.7% from the first quarter of 2013 to $13.7 billion. Crop receipts fell 17.6% to $7.8 billion, marking their first decrease in the first quarter since 2010, while livestock receipts rose 10.1% to $5.9 billion.
The $1.7 billion decrease in crop receipts was mainly the result of lower prices for the major grains and oilseeds. Crop prices began to drop in August 2013, reversing a growth trend that had started in September 2010. Grain and oilseed prices came under downward pressure as production in both the United States and the rest of the world recovered, adding to global supplies. As well, Canadian production of most field crops increased in 2013 compared with 2012.
Canola receipts declined by $589 million (-26.4%) as average prices fell 26.2% compared with the first quarter of 2013. Wheat receipts including durum were down 18.0%, as prices declined 25.8%, offsetting a 10.5% increase in marketings.
Crop receipts declined in most provinces with Alberta recording the largest percentage decrease at 27.8%, followed by Saskatchewan (-18.2%) and Ontario (-16.7%).
Nationally, on the livestock side, cattle and calf receipts increased 23.2% to $2.0 billion, primarily as a result of a 23.1% increase in prices compared with the first quarter of 2013. Hog receipts rose 21.2% to $1.2 billion, as a 22.5% increase in prices was more than enough to offset a 4.9% decrease in the number of animals marketed.
Hog and cattle and calf prices are at record or near record levels, primarily because of low North American inventories. As of January 1, 2014, Canada’s beef cow herd was at its lowest level since 1992. In the United States, the beef cow herd has declined to its lowest level since 1962.
In the supply-managed sectors (dairy, poultry and eggs), farm cash receipts decreased 1.2% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2013. Lower prices in the poultry sector were the main reason for the decline.
Program payments declined 43.8% from the first quarter of 2013 to $466 million, the lowest value since 2000 (in current dollars). This was primarily due to a decrease in crop insurance payments, which fell from $519 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $163 million in the same quarter of 2014.