From Statistics Canada
Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $16.1 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 1.0% from the same quarter a year earlier. Increases in program payments (+56.8%) and crop receipts (+0.5%) were just enough to offset a decline in livestock receipts (-2.7%).
Farm cash receipts, which include crop and livestock revenues as well as program payments, rose in eight provinces compared with the first quarter of 2016. Increases ranged from 4.8% in Manitoba to 0.8% in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Ontario showed an increase of 1.7%.
Lower receipts in Saskatchewan (-4.7%) and Nova Scotia (-3.0%) moderated the national increase.
Livestock receipts declined by $165 million to $6.0 billion in the first quarter of 2017. This was the second consecutive year-over-year decrease for the January-to-March period and was primarily the result of continued declines in cattle and calf receipts (-12.9%). Average cattle and calf prices declined 12.4% from the first quarter of 2016 and were 24.3% below the average prices from the first quarter of 2015. In turn, 2017 first quarter prices were up 7.7% over the last quarter of 2016, the first quarter-over-quarter increase since the second quarter of 2015.
Declines in cattle and calves marketings (-0.6%) also contributed to the drop in first quarter receipts. Reductions in both international (-17.2%) and interprovincial (-3.6%) marketings were more than enough to offset a 4.4% increase in domestic slaughter marketings.
Receipts from the supply-managed sectors rose 4.8%, tempering the drop in cattle and calf receipts. Dairy receipts were the main contributor, rising 6.9% as both marketings and prices rose. Increased egg (+4.3%) and chicken (+1.7%) receipts also contributed as a result of growth in marketings.
Hog receipts (+3.1%) also helped moderate the decline in cattle and calf receipts, as prices rose 5.6%.
Livestock receipts fell in eight provinces, with declines ranging from 17.3% in Saskatchewan to 0.6% in Ontario. Receipts increased 1.4% in Newfoundland and Labrador and 1.0% in Quebec.
Crop receipts increased by $46 million (+0.5%) in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2016. Saskatchewan was the only province to record a decrease in crop receipts, falling 7.5% (-$303 million). That decline was almost enough to offset the increases in the rest of Canada
Receipts for canola, the top grossing crop for the period, rose 15.1% to $2.5 billion, as both marketings (+9.4%) and prices (+5.2%) were up.
Increases in liquidations of deferred grain sales (+8.6%), as well as higher soybean (+15.7%) receipts, also contributed to the rise in crop receipts. Soybean prices were up 10.0% from the same quarter a year earlier while marketings rose 5.2%.
A 34.0% decline in lentil receipts moderated the gain in crop receipts as prices fell 33.6% from the first quarter of 2016. Lentil prices peaked in the second quarter of 2016 before declining, as world production began to recover.
Durum receipts decreased 26.6%, primarily due to a 26.9% drop in prices following record 2016 Canadian production. Wheat excluding durum receipts also tempered the rise in crop receipts, declining 7.9% as both marketings and prices were down.
In the first quarter, program payments were up 56.8% from the first quarter of 2016 to $752 million. Higher crop insurance payments (+63.5%), primarily in Saskatchewan, were the main reason for the rise in the first quarter of 2017.