Mixed Picture for Farm Family Income in 2020 

The total income of Canadian farm families increased in 2020, with grain and oilseed operations seeing a particularly healthy gain while cattle outfits experienced a decline. 

A Statistics Canad report Friday showed the average total income of farm families operating a single farm in Canada was $179,724 in 2020, up 10.2% from 2019.  

However, some farm types fared much better than others, with total income on grain and oilseed farms up 18.9% at $217,343. On the other hand, beef cattle ranching and farming (including feedlot) operations saw their average total income slide about 2.6% to $120,457. At $189,269, total income on hog farms was up 1.8% from 2019. 

The increased income for grain and oilseed farms was largely attributable to strong export demand from China, after a reduction of tariffs, and favourable weather conditions in Western Canada in 2020, StatsCan said. 

Potato farms once again had the highest average total income, at $406,483 per farm family in 2020, up 14.8% from a year earlier. 

Nationally, farm families in Saskatchewan earned the highest average total income, at $213,896 per farm family. This was followed by farm families in Prince Edward Island ($194,294) and Alberta ($182,958). The increased income was driven by higher average net market income of farm families specializing in grain and oilseed production, and of course potatoes. 

Per family farm income in Ontario for 2022 was pegged at $178,456, an increase of 5.4% on the year, while Manitoba income jumped 10.2% to $170,737. 

The average off-farm income rose by 4% to $109,214 from 2019 to 2020, driven by a 27% increase in government social transfers and a 72.5% increase in other income. There was a similar increase across all families in Canada, likely attributable to government transfers related to the COVID-19 pandemic, StatsCan said. 

Off-farm income accounted for 60.8% of the total income of farm families in 2020, down from 64.4% in 2019. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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