Soybeans, lentils, peas driving farm equity growth on P.E.I.
Farm real estate biggest factor in growth
Farm equity on P.E.I. led the region in growth in the last few years, but is well behind the national rate, which is just about where the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture wants to be.
Statistics Canada released the latest balance sheet for the agricultural sector, covering 2016, this week.
Farm equity on P.E.I. was up 19 per cent from 2012 to 2016, while nationally equity it rose 36.9 per cent. Saskatchewan led the country with farm equity up 50.8 per cent.
The growth in equity was largely about real estate. On P.E.I., farm assets rose from $2.27 billion in 2012 to $2.76 billion in 2016. Of that $490 million increase, 88 per cent came from real estate holdings.
Robert Godfrey, executive director of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, sees that as healthy growth.
"P.E.I. is leading the region, and no it's not leading the country, but we don't want land values increasing 70.7 per cent [as they are in Saskatchewan] in this part of the world because the higher land costs are going to mean higher costs for farmers," Godfrey said.
Godfrey said soybean acreage has grown almost tenfold from 2012 to 2016, which along with additional acres in lentils and peas is driving up farmland prices on the Island.
Livestock assets had been slowly rising from 2012 to 2015, but fell sharply in 2016.
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