Manitoba and Canadian farmland value leveling off

The average value of Manitoban farmland rose modestly in 2019, but like the rest of the country, it’s among the weakest gains in a decade.

This according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) annual Farmland Values Report, which shows the average value of farmland in Manitoba increased by four per cent last year, slightly behind the 5.2 per cent national average.

“The days of sharp increases in farmland values continue to be replaced by more modest growth,” said FCC’s chief agricultural economist J.P. Gervais in a news release.

“Changes in commodity prices, uncertainty around global trade and some challenging weather conditions may be tapping the brakes on an otherwise healthy and robust Canadian agriculture industry.”

Manitoba’s four per cent increase is more or less on par with 2018 (3.7) and 2017 (five), but is a far cry from 25.6 per cent seen in both 2012 and 2013 when nearly every province was posting double-digit gains.

However, it’s important to note increases within each province vary widely.

Eastman posted the largest increase in the province, up 8.2 per cent to an average value of $4,250 an acre.

Central Plains-Pembina Valley is valued the highest, at $5,247 an acre, but only rose by 4.7 per cent.

And Westman recorded the most modest growth, up 2.7 per cent in 2019, for an average $2,711.

As was the case in the other prairie provinces, the report indicates weather was a prime reason for lower yields; precipitation meant some crops went unharvested, while dry conditions during the growing season impacted pasture and hay.

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