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Farming can be a tough, but lucrative, business. However, in the past few years, farmers have found that their expenses are rising while their profits are dwindling. Dairy farms have been spending the least in operating costs for every dollar of sales, spending 75 cents for every dollar. Cattle farms spent the most at 94 cents for every dollar in sales. However, the largest farms had the best ratio of expenses to sales, and the smallest farms had the worst. Total farm revenue was $38.3 billion in 2000, while operating expenses reached $33.2 billion. Five years earlier, revenue was $32.2 billion and expenses were $26.7 billion.
Grain harvests will drop to lows not seen in decades, warns a new federal study that concludes the impact of severe weather in Manitoba this summer is ruinous.
Statistics Canada says farmers can expect grain and canola production to fall by a third compared to last year, based on its latest harvest forecast.
That’s lower than it has been in decades, said the study, which also looked at fall forecasts across Canada.
Flooding from continuous rain through July forced farmers to abandon seeding some fields, while in other fields, newly germinated crops drowned.
The latest calculations from the province show that a total of 1.5 million acres of land — that’s about one-third of all arable land — were either unseeded or ended up losing their crops.
That’s more than twice the 600,000 acres lost to production in 2004. As a result, spring wheat production is expected to tumble 33.1 per cent from 3.3 million tonnes in 2004 to 2.2 million tonnes in this year, StatsCan says.
Canola production is also falling and it’s forecast to drop to 1.2 million tonnes, 36 per cent less than last year. Barley production, likewise, will probably fall 42 per cent from 1.4 million tonnes last year to 793,000 tonnes. Oat production is dropping too, 34.6 per cent to 591 tonnes.
Saskatchewan Agriculture says the harvest is behind the five year average.
Only 37-percent of the crop has been combined compared with the five year average of 59-percent to this point in September.
The most progress is reported in the southwest. The northwest lags behind the rest of the province with only 11-percent of the crop off.
Cool wet weather is blamed in much of the province.
Waterfalls through fields...trampled grains...from Porcupine Plain to Aberdeen... what looked like a bumper crop may now barely be worth harvesting.
Blair Cummins' barley is bleached and sprouting .
Blair Cummins, Aberdeen Farmer:" The six inches of rain we got has turned this from a malt barley crop to a feed barley crop."
A cash crop, quite literally washed away...it's a problem echoed throughout Saskatchewan
Terry Bedard, Crop Analyst: "They were feeling despairing...that sort of thing. I just think of one of my crop reporters... They had eleven inches in three weeks. Well how do you deal with that?"