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Despite Slower Growth Outlook for Agriculture Remains Positive

21 April 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm Credit Canada reports, despite slower growth in farmland values, the outlook for agriculture on the prairies is positive, Bruce Cochrane reports.

Farm Credit Canada's latest Farmland Values Report shows, while farmland values increased in 2016, the rate of that increase slowed for the third consecutive year.

FCC Chief Agricultural Economist J.P. Gervais says Canada has had slower growth in farm revenues slowing farmland value increases.

J.P. Gervais-Farm Credit Canada

If you look at Alberta for example, we expected that we would have actually seen farmland values slow down a little more than what we've seen.

We're reporting an average increase in Alberta for 2016 of 9.5 per cent.

That's the highest of the prairie provinces.

Saskatchewan stands at 7.5 per cent and Manitoba at 8.1 per cent.

All three provinces are in line with the national average which is 7.9 per cent.

In Alberta what surprises me a little bit is the fact that we had a bit of a softer environment when it comes to the overall economy in Alberta than most of the time in the past but the strong increase we're seeing in Alberta right now I think speaks to the resiliency of the farm economy.

If you look across all the sectors in the province agriculture stands as a very promising sector, a sector that is still growing as opposed to some of the sectors that are under a bit of pressure still.

In Manitoba we've got strong increases in crop receipts, so fewer production challenges than we found in Saskatchewan and Alberta, fewer quality issues as well.

So a lot of growth in Manitoba with some crop receipts up in 2016 as opposed to Saskatchewan that were down.

Hence the reason why I believe it's to be expected that we are finding an above average or higher than the national average increase in farmland values for Manitoba.

Overall I think results in the prairies are very consistent with the national average but still a strong farm economy in the prairies.

Mr Gervais remains positive about the future of agriculture but he doubts growth over the next ten years will match that of the past 10 years.

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