Bucking the trend in U.S. farmland values, Canada's largest lender to farmers and agribusiness says farmland values rose 2.9% during the first six months of 2009. That estimate, released by Farm Credit Canada (FCC), is based on the firm's semi-annual appraisal of its 245 benchmark farm properties. Those properties were first selected in 1985 and have been appraised in January and July each year since 1990. The benchmark properties are zoned for agriculture and represent current land use, FCC says. Weighting is assigned to each property and to each province, based on the improved farmland area recorded by the 1996 Census of Agriculture.
FCC says the 2.9% increase recorded for the first half of 2009 follows increases of 5.6% and 5.8% posted in the two previous reporting periods. Farmland values increased in most provinces with only British Columbia (-0.7%) and Prince Edward Island (-1.4%) showing declines.
New Brunswick showed the highest percentage increase at 5.6% followed by a gain of 5.5% reported by Manitoba. The gain in New Brunswick was the second highest since 1999, when farmland values rose 11.6%. FCC said the province registered a rise of 6.3% during the six-month period ending Dec. 31, 2008.
Manitoba's 5.5% gain follows increases of 4.2% and 6.2% the two previous reporting periods. On average, Manitoba's farmland values rose almost 1% per month over the 18-month period. It is the only province to experience this trend, FCC states.
Quebec reported a gain of 4.3% in the first half of 2009. This is the third consecutive semi-annual increase and follows increases of 5.9% and 5.5% in the two previous reporting periods. Nova Scotia reported an increase of 4.2% during the first six months of 2009 -- also the third consecutive semi-annual increase. Increases of 4.3% and 5.2% were noted in the two previous reporting periods.
Ontario listed a rise of 2.8% in the first half of 2009. This follows increases of 1.9% and 4.6% reported in the two previous reporting periods. Alberta indicated farmland values rose 1% in the first six months of 2009. This was also the third consecutive semi-annula increase, following increases of 2.2% and 6.7% in the two previous reporting periods.
You can read the complete FCC by clicking here.
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