From Statistics Canada
Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $15.5 billion in the first quarter, up 3.9% from the same quarter in 2015. Gains in crop receipts were more than enough to offset declines in livestock receipts and program payments.
Farm cash receipts increased in six provinces compared with the first quarter of 2015, with gains ranging from 0.6% in Ontario to 10.3% in Saskatchewan. Higher receipts in Saskatchewan (+$424 million) and Alberta (+$156 million) were largely responsible for the national increase.
Receipts declined in Nova Scotia (-9.2%), Manitoba (-3.0%), British Columbia (-0.3%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.1%).
Crop receipts rose by $977 million (+12.2%) in the first quarter as eight provinces posted gains compared with the same quarter in 2015. Provincial increases ranged from 2.2% in British Columbia to 18.6% in Saskatchewan, while crop receipts in Ontario (-3.4%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.8%) declined.
As with farm cash receipts for 2015 as a whole, lentils (+79.5%) contributed the most to the gain in crop receipts in the first quarter of 2016, as prices rose 54.9% compared with the first quarter a year earlier. Strong demand for pulse crops, primarily from India where producers are facing a second consecutive drought, boosted prices. Receipts from dry peas (+119.0%) also contributed to the gain in crop receipts, as both marketings and prices were up from the same quarter in 2015.
Increases in liquidations of deferred grain sales (+16.6%) as well as higher canola (+9.2%) and corn (+16.4%) receipts also contributed to the rise in crop receipts.
Cattle inventories as of January 1, 2016, were relatively unchanged (+0.3%) and remained at their lowest level since 1993.
Livestock receipts fell in six provinces, while they edged up in the remaining four provinces. Saskatchewan recorded the largest decline both in percentage (-21.6%) and value (-$140 million).
Receipts from the supply-managed sectors rose 1.7%, tempering the drop in cattle and calf receipts. Increased poultry, dairy and egg marketings were the main reason for the gain, as prices were down. Hog receipts (+3.8%) also helped to moderate the decline in cattle and calf receipts, as both prices and marketings grew slightly.
In the first quarter, program payments were down 18.5% from the first quarter of 2015 to $477 million; they had increased 37.6% year over year in the first quarter of 2015. Lower crop insurance payments were the main reason for the drop in the first quarter of 2016.