Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada

January 17, 2011 03:00 ET

Optimism about Canadian agriculture increases

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this press release

The optimism level of Canadian agriculture producers and agribusiness owners is at a four-year high, according to a new Farm Credit Canada (FCC) national Vision Panel survey. Three-quarters of those surveyed (76%) say that their farm or business will be better off in five years which is a significant shift from 2009 (70%). To view the complete survey results, visit www.fccvision.ca.

In this fourth annual FCC study, more Canadian producers report being better off than they were five years ago and they have higher expectations for future growth than in the past. They also show continued advocacy for careers in agriculture. Intentions to expand and diversify are also at a four-year high.

"Challenges in agriculture are all around us. It's a complex industry. At the same time, when we ask about the future of agriculture in general, the survey results echo what we hear from the majority of our customers. They love their work and believe that agriculture is a sector with opportunities," says FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart.

Survey highlights:

  • 67% of respondents believe that they are better off now than they were five years ago. This is a significant shift from last year (2009: 60%).
  • 55% of producers are planning to expand and/or diversify their farm or business in the next five years.
  • Producers who responded to the survey are more likely to recommend a career in an agricultural related field to a friend or family member (80%) than a career in primary production (64%).
  • The majority of respondents don't plan changes to their capital spending in 2011. Those who do are most likely to spend on equipment (42%), inputs (35%) and land (26%). Spending is largely driven by current business or succession plans (34%).
  • Respondents say commodity prices (15%), public demand for new products (13%) and increased demand for product (12%) are the top opportunities they see.
  • Despite high levels of optimism, producers still face challenges. The two most significant are making a profit (23%) and rising input costs (21%).
  • Other livestock (sheep, goats, llamas, bison, etc.) (81%), crop (78%) and dairy (78%) producers are much more likely to believe that their farm or business will be better off in the next five years, compared to hog producers (69%).

"Weekly, I hear reasons for optimism from our staff who talk directly with producers and agri-business owners and operators across Canada," says FCC Chief Operating Officer Rémi Lemoine. "This optimism is the result of stronger commodity prices in most sectors, farm business expansion and growth, and the interest of young farmers. This shows me that producers have optimism about success. If they didn't, they wouldn't be making plans for future projects and growth."

"The future for agriculture is much brighter than when I started farming," says a Vision panel member who answered the survey. "Both my boys want to farm and I feel it is a much better future for them." Another respondent reported: "People have to be open minded to new technologies and opportunities that may come their way. However, it will require some hard work – there are no easy rides."

Complete survey results, including comparisons by sector and by province, are available at www.fccvision.ca.

FCC Vision Panel members – over 9,000 producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators – were asked in the fall about their views on the state of agriculture. Nearly 4,900 producers participated in the survey. The margin of error for this survey is +/-1%, 19 times out of 20 on a sample of this size. Demographic subgroups will have a higher margin of error.

As Canada's leading agriculture lender, FCC is advancing the business of agriculture. With a healthy portfolio of more than $20 billion and 17 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable – committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customers and the industry. For more information, visit www.fcc.ca.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please see the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/FCCImageE.JPG

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