Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – As 2021 comes to a close we are looking back on three big stories to come out of the year.
2021 Pandemic Overview
J.P. Gervais, the Chief Economist with Farm Credit Canada, says there was a lot of hope at the beginning of the year that we would emerge from the pandemic.
“We had vaccine deployment and we thought that we were going to be able to put the pandemic behind us and I do think that in some ways we managed to do that and in some other ways as well, we’re right in the middle of it,” Gervais says.
He says this is not only because of the different waves that appear throughout the year but really as well, because of the consequences in the market.
“Just because of strong demand, high accumulated savings by consumers, some of the lockdowns that we’ve had, some of the disruptions and production and so forth.”
Gervais says this all led to inflation.
“Inflation is now present in a very significant way in a lot of different ways as well. And it raises tons of questions as we are just looking at the beginning of 2022 and what it’s going to look like for interest rates, the value of the currency, the demand for food.”
There are just tons of different questions now that I think can actually go back to inflation and inflation itself being tied to the evolution of the pandemic and the market effects that it created throughout 2021.
The summer months brought excessive heat and no precipitation hurting crops across the prairies.
Some farmers saw complete crop failure, while others
Livestock producers were forced to sell off parts or all of their herds because of the shortage of available feed and under stress because of the extreme growing conditions.
The Federal and Provincial Governments provided aid in the form of money and program changes to help farmers get the relief they needed.
At the end of the year, Gervais says it was evident that there were a lot of individual operations that were faced with significant struggles.
“Those that did have their yields go down more so than the average will not be in a good position.”
However, overall farm cash receipts nationwide were good, as higher prices more than offset some of the declines in production.
“At the industry level, if you look at overall farm cash receipts, we’re likely to see 2021 cash receipts being stronger than in 2020.”
A devastating flood in B.C’s Fraser Valley in November destroyed farms, put producers in peril, killed animals, and ravaged farmland.
By the time it was done it forced the evacuation of around 1000 farms.
There were 628,000 poultry, 420 dairy cows, and approximately 12,000 hogs killed during the flood.
Images of farmers pulling dairy cows through deep water were seen around the world.
There were countless examples of compassion throughout the flood as people from all over helped farmers.
There were many cases of farmers helping farmers. Some of the examples include producers taking in dairy cattle to make sure they were milked, fed, and cared for.