The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
The average value of Canadian farmland increased 5.6% during the last six months of 2008. That's according to the semi-annual Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Farmland Values Report. This is the third-highest percentage increase since 1997 and is similar to the 5.8% increase noted for the first six months of 2008.
Farmland values rose in every province except Prince Edward Island, which remained unchanged. Saskatchewan experienced the strongest percentage increase at 8.8%, followed by New Brunswick at 6.3% and Quebec with a 5.9% gain. Three provinces reported similar percentage increases: Nova Scotia (4.3%), Manitoba (4.2%), Newfoundland and Labrador (4%). The two western provinces show similar gains. British Columbia was up 2.3% while Alberta reported a 2.2% increase. Ontario values rose 1.9%.
"Even though there have been adjustments to prices in the grains and oilseeds sector, producers remain optimistic about the future of agriculture," says Remi Lemoine, FCC Senior VP Portfolio and Credit Risk. "According to research conducted late last year with our FCC Vision panel, 22% of respondents plan on expanding their operations in the next five years."
FCC is Canada's largest provider of business and financial services to farms and agribusinesses.
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For Saskatchewan, this was the third consecutive semi-annual increase over 5% and followed increases of 5.6% and 7.8% in the previous two reporting periods. On average, Saskatchewan farmland values have increased approximately 1% per month over the trailing 18-month period. Only Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba experienced similar size price movements. The complete report is available at www.FarmlandValues.ca.
If you are interested in finding our more about Canadian farmland go to www.farmlandinvestmentpartnership.com. Agcapita is a Calgary based agriculture private equity firm and is part of a family of funds with almost $100 million in assets under management. Agcapita’s advisory Board is composed of accomplished agriculture entrepreneurs and investment experts including the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Ken Clarke and Jim Rogers, co-founder of Quantum Fund with George Soros.
Agcapita has launched Agcapita Farmland Fund II to continue its strategy of opening farmland investing to a wider audience – historically, farmland has been an asset class not easily available to most investors. The minimum investment in Agcapita Farmland Fund II is $10,000 and investment may be made via an RRSP, RESP, RRIF or TFSA.