Crop diversification is helping increase incomes in Prince Edward Island

Net farm incomes on P.E.I. have been relatively stable over the last five years, and the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture is crediting a diversified crop base.

"For a long time people have associated agriculture on P.E.I. as simply potatoes," said federation executive director Robert Godfrey.

"I don't think that's necessarily the case. It's by far the number one crop and it's a very important crop but there is an awful lot of things going on now."

Potatoes may still be king, but soybeans, lentils, peas and blueberries could be said to be members of the royal family now. The diversification means when one farm product isn't doing well, others might be, which can make incomes more stable year-to-year.

Recently revised farm income numbers from Statistics Canada knocked a few million off farm income for 2016, but it was still up a little over 2015.

"Net incomes at the farm gate are not extremely good, but they're fair, and stable," said Godfrey.

"Really it speaks to the diversification of agriculture here on P.E.I."

Soybean growth has been particularly strong. Island farmers grew 2,200 hectares of soybeans in 2000 and that was up to more than 20,000 in 2011, where it has levelled off.

Source: cbc.ca

Publication date: 11/29/2017


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