From Statistics Canada
Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $15.9 billion in the first quarter, up 3.1% from the same quarter in 2018.
The increase in 2019 was attributable to higher program payments (+60.6%), crop receipts (+1.5%) and livestock receipts (+1.3%).
Farm cash receipts, which include crop and livestock revenues, as well as program payments, were up in every province except Nova Scotia (-2.5%), Manitoba (-1.3%) and Ontario (-0.3%).
Higher receipts in Saskatchewan (up $184.5 million) and Alberta (up $153.0 million) more than offset the largest monetary decrease in Manitoba (down $22.7 million).
Crop receipts boosted by cannabis
Crop receipts totalled $9.0 billion in the first quarter, up $129.5 million (+1.5%) from the same quarter in 2018. Excluding cannabis, crop receipts would have declined by 0.8%.
Cannabis receipts—which now include recreational cannabis—totalled $271.3 million in the first quarter, and are now included in farm cash receipts. Ontario had the highest farm cash receipts for cannabis at $116.7 million.
Wheat (excluding durum) receipts were up 13.3% as increased exports, likely due to strong global demand coupled with lower competition from other major wheat-producing countries, boosted both marketings (+10.2%) and prices (+2.8%). Wheat stocks as of March 2019 were down 4.3% to 15.7 million tonnes compared with the same period last year. In Saskatchewan, provincial marketings for all wheat rose 24.9% year over year in the first quarter.
Lentil receipts were up 44.9% to $259.5 million in the first quarter. This was mostly the result of a 43.9% increase in marketings to 607.4 million tonnes.
Canola receipts were down 11.0% to $2.0 billion as exports decreased sharply in the first quarter due to an oversupply of oilseeds in the world market. Canola prices were down 4.7% year over year, while marketings declined 6.7%.
Soybean receipts were down 22.3% with declines in six of the seven provinces that produce soybeans. This decrease in the first quarter was attributable to marketings (-20.9%), following a 10-year high of 1.3 billion tonnes in the first quarter of 2018.
Livestock receipts rise on higher cattle receipts
Livestock receipts rose 1.3% to $6.2 billion in the first quarter, mostly attributable to a 4.0% increase in cattle receipts to $2.0 billion and a 4.2% increase in dairy receipts to $1.7 billion. The increase was slightly offset by lower hog receipts (-8.7%).
The increase in cattle receipts was mostly attributable to the increased international exports (+37.9%), driven primarily by higher marketings (+32.6%) and prices (+4.0%).
The supply-managed sectors (which accounted for approximately 45% of total livestock receipts) posted a year-over-year gain of 4.8%, to $2.8 billion in the first quarter. Dairy receipts contributed the most to this increase. Both price and marketings were higher as receipts rose for both eggs (+9.6%) and chicken for meat (+5.8%). Turkeys (-6.4%) were the only supply-managed commodity that had lower receipts.
Declining hog prices (-10.3%) pushed hog receipts down from $1.1 billion to $996.8 million—despite a 1.8% year-over-year increase in marketings. The majority of the decrease was attributable to slaughtered hogs (-9.4%), mostly related to lower prices (-10.9%).
Program payments totalled $698.0 million in the first quarter, up 60.6% year over year. Crop insurance was the main driver of the increase, rising from $205.4 million to $470.6 million. Alberta accounted for just over half of the crop insurance payments as a result of adverse weather conditions, which left crops unharvested in the fields.