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New Report Released:  Canadian Farmers are Planning to Invest in Growth

In 2018 Stratus interviewed 800 farmers across Canada. Farms in the survey had a minimum of $250,000 in annual gross farm sales, but averaged $1.1 million. Most carry significant debt, but still plan to make major purchases over the next five years.


Most farmers report having an investable cash surplus, averaging $218,000 across all farms and exceeding $500,000 on 9% of farms.  Large surpluses are most common in Alberta and least common in Quebec.  The most common investment is in AgriInvest (AAFC), especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan.


Surveyed farmers averaged just under $1.0 million of total farm debt, but 20% have no debt at all.  Little or no debt is most common among older farmers and those preparing to exit the farm; high debt is more common in Quebec, on farms with livestock and large/growing farms. 

Only 11% of farms carry debt that is 50% or more than their assets, but that is much more common with young farmers who are growing their operation.

Many make use of Credit Lines from their suppliers, especially for crop inputs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.


Most farmers intend to invest in their operation, especially large farms, growing farms and younger farmers.  Overall 39% plan to buy new land in the next five years, needing an average of $1.7 million/buyer; 60% plan to buy new machinery, averaging $380,000/buyer. 

While farmers making each investment need a lot of financing, even averaged across all types of investment and all surveyed farms (making purchases or not), the planned purchases are $1.2 million per farm over the next five years.

Canadian farmers have clear plans for growth and look to their financial institutions to support those plans.

The report also includes detailed data comparing individual financial institutions such as ATB, BMO, CIBC, National Bank, RBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, FCC, Desjardins and other credit unions.


For more information about “The Performance of Financial Institutions in the Canadian Agriculture Sector”, contact:

Kent Fraser


By Vice-President

Clients recognize Kent for his experience and skills in brand positioning - helping clients to refine how they tell their stories.  Kent uses his extensive marketing knowledge and practical experience on the inside of North American agribusiness to translate market research into ideas that clients can use to make decisions.

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