May 26, 2008 / 4:08 PM / 9 years ago

Canada net farm income up on grain prices

TORONTO (Reuters) - After two years of declines, total net income for farmers in Canada more than doubled last year because of higher grain and oilseed prices, according to a report released on Monday.

<p>Canadian wheat grows in a field near Teulon, Manitoba, July 26, 2006. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>

Statistics Canada said that realized net income -- the difference between cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation -- rose to C$1.7 billion in 2007 from C$771 million in 2006, which was a 2-percent jump above the previous five-year average.

Nationwide, producers faced an 8.2 percent increase in farm-operating expenses, which was the fastest rate of growth since 1981, and 14 percent higher than the previous five-year average.

Grain and oilseed prices continued on an upward trajectory in 2007, bolstered by rising food demand in emerging economies and the increasing production of biofuels.

The surge in prices hit livestock producers with added strain, causing feed and fertilizer costs to soar by 21.8 percent.

Province-by-province, the income gains were concentrated in Quebec and the Prairie provinces, while net income levels in British Columbia, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces dropped to “extremely low levels,” the report said.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Ashleigh Patterson; Editing by Peter Galloway

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