Proceedings

Canadian Farmers’ Adaptation To Declining Commodity Prices

The five major agricultural producing provinces are compared in terms of farm labour and management incomes, return on investment to farm capital, total farm family income, and farm family net worth. In each province, comparisons are made with non-farm incomes, investment returns and net worth levels. The results show that farm family incomes in Canada are much better today than 30 years ago, returns on farmland investment are very comparable to average stock market returns, and average farm family net worth is significantly higher than the average for all families. The conclusion is that Canadian farmers have adapted well to declining commodity prices mainly by being adapters of and investors in new technologies, allowing them to increase farm size (increased cost efficiencies) and by diversifying their income sources to include more off-farm income.

Keywords: Farm Labour and Management Income, Return on Invested Farm Capital, Real Commodity Prices, Farm Family Income, Off-Farm Employment, Farm Family Net Worth.

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Author(s): Painter, M.J.

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Organizations(s): University of Saskatchewan