Ontario Crop Production Costs Exceed those of Nearby US States

Ridgetown Releases 10-year study on Farm Input Costs

By Stewart Grant

A ten-year study (2007-2016) on crop production costs released in December by the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus concluded that “the US Great Lakes region has had a price advantage over Ontario in the majority of farm input products surveyed”

The report noted that per the most recent Statistics Canada detail (2014) on farming revenue and expenses, the average Ontario farm spent $38,642 annually on pesticides, fuel, fertilizers and lime. These input costs represented nearly 23% of crop revenues (11% on fertilizer and lime, 7% on fuel costs, and 5% on pesticides).

Of the major input cost areas, the greatest price disadvantage suffered by Ontario farms was in the herbicides and insecticides sector. While Ontario fuel and fertilizer were also higher than in the United States, the difference was less than 10% annually.

On average, Ontario herbicide and insecticide costs were 62.3% greater than in the United States during the ten-year period surveyed. Meanwhile, fuel costs were 9.7% higher and fertilizer costs 4.2% higher.

For the majority of the ten-year period sampled, Ontario fuel prices have been consistency higher than those in the US Great Lakes region, aside from a few occurrences of lower propane in recent years.  On average, Ontario gasoline has been 14% higher, diesel fuel has been 11% higher and propane 4% higher than in the nearby US states.

The entire 26-page report, entitled “Farm Input Prices – Ontario and US Great Lakes Region: 2007-2016” can be viewed at www.ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca.

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