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Total income of farm operators, 2014

Released: 2016-08-15

Average total income of farm operators in Canada increased 1.7% compared with 2013 to $95,331 in 2014, according to data from personal income tax returns.

Average income from off-farm sources rose 3.7% compared with 2013 to $46,874 in 2014, while average net operating income was virtually unchanged (-0.1%) at $48,457. Off-farm income accounted for 49.2% of the total income of farm operators in 2014, up from 48.2% in 2013.

The growth in average off-farm income registered in 2014 resulted mainly from a 3.2% increase in labour income, which averaged $26,546, and from a 6.2% rise in investment income, which averaged $11,072.

Farm operators specialized in hog and pig farming reported the largest gain (+106.3%) in average total income in 2014, largely the result of average net operating income, which almost tripled as hog revenues were boosted by stronger prices. Average total income of hog farm operators reached $212,556, well above the income of operators specialized in potato production and that of operators specialized in poultry and egg production, which typically post the highest averages.

The average total income of operators of beef cattle farms increased 24.2% to $67,069 in 2014, mainly because of higher cattle and calf prices, which were up because of low North American inventories. Both average net operating income (+108.3%) and average off-farm income (+6.3%) contributed to the gain in average total income.

All other major farm types also posted increases in average total income in 2014, except farm operators primarily engaged in other animal production (-14.6%), oilseed and grain farming (-6.2%), or poultry and egg production (-1.5%), who saw their average total income fall as a result of lower average net operating income. Farm operators specialized in other animal production also posted a decline in average off-farm income (-1.5%).

Average total income of farm operators increased in six provinces in 2014, with gains ranging from 1.0% in British Columbia to 15.3% in New Brunswick. Average total income decreased in Nova Scotia (-13.9%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-2.9%), Alberta (-1.6%) and Ontario (-1.1%). For a second consecutive year, farm operators in Newfoundland and Labrador earned the highest average total income ($110,691). They were followed closely by those in Alberta ($108,743) and Saskatchewan ($105,292).

  Note to readers

The Agriculture Taxation Data Program uses taxation records to produce data on total income of farm operators. The estimates cover farm operators involved in one or more unincorporated farms (with gross operating revenues of $10,000 or more) or incorporated farms (with gross operating revenues of $25,000 or more).

The average total income corresponds to the sum of average off-farm income (wages and salaries, net off-farm self-employment income, investment income, pension income, government social transfers [excluding pension amounts] and other off-farm income) and average net operating income (total operating revenues less total operating expenses).


Summary tables are available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Summary tables.

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