FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DECEMBER 11, 2021
RECENT INCOME DATA HIGHLIGHTS MARKET FAILURE
CURRENT, Sask.— Statistics Canada data publicized over the
past week shows that farmers’ net incomes will fall. But it is
only when we look at the long term that the extent of the crisis emerges.
Especially striking is the fact that farmers’ net income from the
market alone—with government payments subtracted—is now essentially
The following graph plots Canadian per-farm Gross Revenue adjusted for
inflation and per-farm Realized Net Income adjusted for inflation (with
and without government payments).
Canadian per-farm Gross Revenues and Realized Net Incomes: 1947-2003
the average farm, Realized Net Farm Income from the market alone—which
hovered between $10,000 and $20,000 per year through most of the 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s,
and ‘70s—is now negative. Over the past five years, the average
Canadian farm earned just $959 per year from the markets alone. The bulk
of farm family income had to come from off-farm income, savings, liquidation
of assets, debt, and government payments.
distance between the Gross Revenue and Net Income lines represents
of money that farm families have to pay to the corporations
that manufacture and market agricultural inputs and technologies—fertilizer,
chemical, seed, and fuel companies
“Canadian farm families are being crushed by profoundly dysfunctional
markets,” said NFU President Stewart Wells. He noted that over
the past decades, the average Canadian farm has increased its (inflation
adjusted) gross output five-fold—from less than $30,000 per year
to over $140,000. “We’ve multiplied our output, enlarged
our farms, adopted a myriad of new technologies, posted Canada-leading
efficiency gains, and the markets reward us today with negative net incomes.
Where did those increased gross revenues go? They were taken by the small
number of immensely powerful transnationals that make and market our
agricultural inputs and technologies,” said Wells.
NFU’s new report, The Farm Crisis, Bigger Farms, and the Myths
of ‘Competition’ and ‘Efficiency’ takes a fresh
look at Canadian agriculture and the income crisis gripping our family
farms. The report reveals the truth about farmer efficiency, looks at
technology’s spotty record of delivering profits to farmers, examines
who is taking the profits in the agri-food system, and details growing
corporate power and predatory pricing by agribusiness. The report is
at http://www.nfu.ca/briefs/Myths_PREP_PDF_TWO.bri.pdf .
For More Information:
Stewart Wells, President: (306) 773-6852
Darrin Qualman, Exec. Sec.: (306) 652-9465