We now have an updated assessment of how Saskatchewan’s farming community made out in 2017. This comes from StatsCan data drawn from things such as tax returns.
It shows that last year was slightly less generous to Saskatchewan farmers than 2016. But a good chunk of that change is accounting numbers. Gross revenue – or total sales – for Saskatchewan farmers was almost unchanged in the two years – roughly $14.2 billion. Expenses rose last year, though, as did depreciation. That was a sign that farm assets were rising. In other words, net worth was getting better.
When you add the depreciation increase to changes in inventory – meaning the amount of grain in bins on the farm, which fell by $700 million – overall net income on farms declined.
In accounting terms, net income for Saskatchewan farms was $2.6 billion last year and $3.6 billion the year before. But realized income, which is closer to the amount of cash that came in, was almost identical in both years at $2.8 and $2.6 billion, respectively.