17 Oct A Rewarding Future for Canadian Agriculture
2012 will be a profitable year for Canadian agriculture. That’s the conclusion of a report released by the Bank of Montreal. Canadian agricultural output is expected to improve 7.5% by the end of the year when compared to 2011, growth that is largely supported by more profitable crop production. While agriculture is always vulnerable in a constantly changing economy, there are reasons to believe that this growth can be sustained:
- Countries with growing populations are looking for food, and see Canada as a valuable source. The needs of international markets are affecting the decisions of Canadian farmers, as more growers are shifting to crop production rather than livestock because seed is much easier to export overseas than meat. Wheat and oilseed are in high demand around the world, and farmers are modifying their operations in response.
- Agricultural research and development is expanding at a rapid pace, with spending growing twice as fast as it is for the rest of the economy. Governments, universities, producers and the private sector are all teaming up to find ways to maximize production, whether it’s through better management practices, more effective crop inputs or improved genetics. Everyone is working together to find ways to do more with less.
- Demand for agricultural products that address specific health or environmental concerns is growing, and farmers are diversifying their operations to accommodate. People want more nutritious oilseeds or grains, leaner meat or organically produced products. They want crops that can be used for bio-products such as fuels and plastics. These are usually higher-return products as well, adding extra incentive for farmers to produce them.
Overall Canadian agricultural output has gone up for 15 consecutive months, and has grown by 30% since 1997. There will always be ups and downs, but the upward trend is strong and should remain that way as producers continue to adapt to changing needs.