Farm cash receipts were up 8.1 percent in 2020, led by a 14.2 percent increase in crop receipts.
Statistics Canada data show that total receipts were $71.7 billion last year. Seven provinces saw increases, including Saskatchewan, up $2.6 billion, and Ontario, up $1.3 billion, accounting for more than two-thirds of the national hike.
Receipts were down in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.
Crop receipts were $5.2 billion higher, to total $41.9 billion, on the strength of higher export demand for grains and oilseeds.
Exports were helped by record high grain shipments by rail.
“Receipts were also up because favourable growing conditions allowed farmers to harvest their crops early,” the agency reported.
By crop, canola receipts rose $1.6 billion to $10.2 billion thanks to higher prices and marketing. Canola exports increased almost 43 percent to 11.8 million tonnes. Domestic crush grew by 7.1 percent to 10.3 million tonnes.
Wheat, excluding durum, was next in line at $6.1 billion in receipts. Exports were up 14.3 percent; China bought 13.9 percent of the total as expansion of its hog herd increased feedgrain needs.
Durum receipts totalled $1.7 billion. Exports rose 17 percent with Italy, Morocco and the United States buying more than half the total.
Receipts for lentils were up $1 billion to $1.9 billion. Sales were up 55 percent while prices were up 39 percent. Shipments to Turkey and India nearly doubled.
Statistics Canada noted in the second full year of legalized recreational cannabis use, receipts increased by 74 percent, or nearly one-third of total crop receipts.
Meanwhile, livestock receipts fell by slightly less than one percent to $26.4 billion. Most of the decrease was due to a 4.9 percent decline in cattle receipts, to $8.3 billion, while dairy receipts rose to $7.1 billion.
Most of the decline in beef receipts was due to COVID-related challenges at packing plants, which affected slaughter cattle earnings. International exports also dropped because the United States faced similar challenges.
Hog receipts rose 1.5 percent to $4.7 billion on higher sales.
On the supply-managed side, receipts from dairy and poultry accounted for 44 percent of total revenue. Milk receipts climbed 1.9 percent, eggs 7.2 percent, and chickens for meat 0.8 percent, while turkey dropped four percent.
Direct payments accounted for nearly 11 percent of farm cash receipts in 2020 as farmers received $340.1 million more than the previous year to total $3.5 billion.
Payments rose the most in Alberta, at $214.4 million, and Quebec, $109.5 million. They dropped in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.
The increase in Alberta is largely from crop insurance and livestock price insurance. In Quebec, it was provincial stabilization payments mainly to hog producers, and crop insurance.