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Crops back on top!

Crops back on top!

Posted on: 6/4/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Farming is a complex business that requires astute management of the many risks that are outside the control of producers. From bad weather to natural disasters, there is a lot that can go wrong. The good news is that, despite these risks, Alberta’s agricultural sector had another good year in 2017.

According to new data from Statistics Canada, total farm cash receipts in Alberta topped $14.1 billion last year–a record high.

The two major components of Alberta’s agriculture are crop production (mostly wheat, canola and other cereal grains) and livestock (mostly cattle). The two have duked it out for much of the last 20 years, with livestock leading crops in cash receipts for much of the 1990s and early 2000s. Crop receipts, however, came roaring back in the early part of this decade and the two have been neck-and-neck for the past few years.

At $6.9 billion, crop receipts came out on top in 2017, but livestock receipts were not far behind at $6.4 billion. (Aside from cash receipts for crop and livestock sales, the remaining income for farmers was $764 million in direct payments from insurance claims.)

But receipts are only half the equation for farmers – there are also plenty of costs. In tomorrow’s edition of The Owl, we will explore how cash receipts compare to operating expenses.

Farm cash receipts, graph​​​​​​

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