Statistics Canada is forecasting a building boom on BC farms this year, as capital investments in construction projects get ready to surge.
Construction spending will total $394.6 million this year, according to the annual survey of business investment intentions that took place in late 2020. This is up nearly 24% from $318.7 million last year and a 6% increase from $372.5 million in 2019.
The steady increase in new construction has been led by the crop sector, with strong investment in 2019 following on the legalization of cannabis in 2018. This year’s tally is also led by greenhouse projects, with the sector expecting expanded acreage as growers increase pepper and tomato production. Crop producers are expected to spend $275.4 million on construction this year, or nearly 70% of the total.
The livestock sector is focusing its spending on machinery and equipment, accounting for $143 million or nearly 58% of the $248.6 million growers will invest this year. Spending on machinery and equipment by crop producers has fallen since 2019 while the livestock sector has seen increasing investment.
The spending by livestock producers on equipment has yet to match the peak of $159.6 million reported in 2018, the year after the massive wildfires that devastated ranches across the Interior.