Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totaled $42.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, up 1.6% from the same period in 2014.
According to Statistics Canada, this was the fifth consecutive year-over-year increase in receipts for the January-to-September period. Gains in the first quarter (+4.3%) and third quarter (+3.5%) more than offset a 3.1% decline in receipts during the second quarter.
Farm cash receipts, which include crop and livestock revenues as well as program payments, increased in Saskatchewan (+6.4%), Alberta (+6.3%), Nova Scotia (+5.0%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.4%), British Columbia (+1.7%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.5%). Over the same period, receipts were down in Quebec (-6.1%), Manitoba (-3.0%), New Brunswick (-1.6%) and Ontario (-0.9%).
Livestock receipts rose by $392 million (+2.1%) to $18.9 billion, the sixth consecutive year-over-year gain for the January-to-September period.
Cattle and calf receipts were the main contributor to the increase in livestock receipts, rising $1.0 billion (+15.9%) to $7.6 billion. Cattle and calf receipts for the first three quarters of 2015 were 50.3% higher than the previous five-year average for the period, and accounted for over 40% of the total livestock receipts for the first time since 2002. A $746 million (-19.2%) decline in hog receipts moderated the overall rise in livestock receipts.
The increase in cattle and calf receipts was attributable to a 32.2% rise in average prices compared with the first three quarters of 2014. This more than offset a 12.4% decline in the number of animals marketed. Conversely, hog receipts declined as prices fell 22.3% from the same period in 2014. While tight supplies continued to be a factor for cattle and calf prices, North American hog inventories have increased, putting downward pressure on hog prices.
Crop receipts increased 0.7% to $22.3 billion for the January-to-September period. Receipts for lentils, which are grown mainly in Saskatchewan, rose 58.4% ($354 million) on the strength of higher prices. A rise in canola receipts (+6.3%) also contributed to the increase in crop receipts as both marketings and prices were up from the same period in 2014.
Conversely, liquidations of deferred grain sales declined by $397 million, negatively affecting the January-to-September 2015 crop receipts. This decline was primarily a result of a 19.9% decrease in grain receipts deferred by producers in 2014. Lower corn receipts (-25.0%) also contributed to the decline, as marketings fell 27.6%. Canadian corn production in 2014 was 19.1% below that of the bumper crop harvested in 2013.
In general, changes to the levels of marketings and prices for the major grains and oilseeds were mixed. Marketings were generally down compared with the first three quarters of 2014 as a result of lower production levels. Crop prices were mainly up, despite ample crop supplies in North America. The depreciation of the Canadian dollar relative to the US currency has lent some support to prices received by Canadian producers.
Program payments were up 9.6% from the first three quarters of 2014 to $1.5 billion, but were 28.8% below the previous five-year average for the same period. Higher crop insurance payments (+61.0%) were the main reason for the gain in 2015. Lower AgriStability, provincial stabilization and AgriInvest payments moderated the increase.