The rate of increase in farm debt exceeds capital, incomes change


Canadian farm debt has grown more than twice as fast as farm capital over the past three years ending in 2019.

At the same time, the net profit has significantly decreased since 2017.

The level of national agricultural debt rose 17.1 percent to $ 114.9 billion, while total agricultural capital rose 7.4 percent to $ 59.9 billion.

Net farm income fell 61.6 percent nationally, according to Statistics Canada.

In Saskatchewan, the farm debt ratio increased 19.1% to $ 17.74 billion, while the value of farm capital rose 8.4% to $ 16.84 billion.

Net income in that province fell 24.9% to $ 2.25 billion, a rate well below that of neighboring prairie provinces.

This equates to a return on capital of 13.3 percent for Saskatchewan farms last year. The national return on capital was 8.6 percent.

Alberta’s farm debt rose 15.3% to $ 25.5 billion, while farm capital rose 6.6% to $ 16.25 billion.

Net income in Alberta fell 40 percent to $ 789 million.

Manitoba had the largest lag in the rate of increase in the Prairies. Farm debt rose 15.7 percent to $ 10.56 billion, while farm capital grew only 4.4 percent to $ 6.29 billion.

Manitoba experienced the largest percentage drop in net income, 85% to $ 419 million.

Ron Walter can be reached at [email protected]


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