Sometimes it is helpful to look at the big picture to get a feel for what is happening in the smaller version.
A new report from StatsCan looking at farm income for the last ten years is one example. While we know things are not all that happy in farm finances these days, but the longer view helps us put the declines into context.
The report – looking at 2008 to 2018 – is generally quite positive. We had a seven-year run that was quite remarkable actually, largely driven by the increased demand for food and protein coming from Asia as the emerging middle class found it had purchasing power and wanted improved diets. The big upward spike came in 2011 and reversed itself in 2018. It is starting to look like we’re getting back to levels that were average back in the early years of this century.
This tells us a few things….what goes up tends to go down. That Asia’s fortunes have a big impact on how things will go here. And that tough times today are what were normal ten years ago.