Weaker spending in the horticulture sector is forecast to result in lower spending in the BC agriculture sector this year, according to Statistics Canada.
Capital expenditures topped $601 million last year, according to federal estimates. This year, spending will drop to $537.9 million.
The survey indicates that construction spending will take the greatest hit, inching up just 2% in livestock operations to $144 million while dropping 40% in horticulture to $107 million.
It’s the opposite story with respect to machinery and equipment. The importance of machinery to farms means a drop of just 11% in the horticulture sector and an increase of 14% in livestock operations.
The estimates don’t account for repairs, which have become a significant portion of spending as farmers seek to make existing capital investments go further. In 2020, the last year for which firm numbers are available, BC farmers spent $292.6 million on repairs to buildings and equipment.
New capital spending peaked in 2019 at $702.4 million, but dropped off during the pandemic. While there was a slight uptick last year, this year’s forecast indicates a moderating trend is in play.
Statscan notes that its Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey is based on a survey of 27,000 businesses, governments and institutions conducted from September 2021 to January 2022.