Farmland in Abitibi-Témiscamingue is the cheapest in the country
Farmland in Abitibi-Témiscamingue is the least expensive in Canada.
Abitibi-Témiscamingue has the cheapest average price of farmland in the country, according to Farm Credit Canada.
The federal commercial crown corporation this week released an annual report on farmland values across the country.
In the region, an acre was valued at $1,500 on average in 2022, a figure that has not budged for two years.
At the same time, average land values increased by 12.8% across Canada and by 11% in Quebec.
Abitibi-Témiscamingue is the only region whose values have remained stable in 2022. There have been few buyers from other regions, which has slowed the rise in prices in the market, the FCC report indicates.
For the regional president of the Union of Agricultural Producers, Pascal Rheault, low prices often arouse the interest of speculators.
It is sure that it has an advantage in terms of succession. If we want to attract new producers, especially in beef production, I think that price still has an advantage. But it is certain that on the other side, at the level of investors, they can often buy large blocks of land for the future because we know that it will increase in value. Sometimes our lands will be very popular, I'm pretty sure, assures Pascal Rheault.
Pascal Rheault, President of the UPA Federation of Abitibi-Témiscamingue
According to the agricultural producer, this low price often indicates that it is difficult to farm in the region.
Of course, the distance has its effect. Then there are certain productions that we cannot do. There is corn and soybeans [very cultivated] in the central regions. It's still quite profitable since you can combine them with another production, it's more profitable for a company. These are productions that we can not do or very little, that's why the price of land is lower here, explains the agricultural producer.
He also points out that with the increase in inputs and interest rates, it is increasingly difficult for farmers in the region to make a profit from their land.
“I can say that it is still a very beautiful region to produce. I think there is room for development, but we are also waiting for signals from governments to support us.
— Pascal Rheault
This is also what Farm Credit Canada points out. The agriculture industry has not been immune to inflation as agricultural input prices have risen along with commodity prices, the annual report reads.
The Union of Agricultural Producers of Abitibi-Témiscamingue believes that the lack of agricultural infrastructure is a brake on the development of the sector in the region. Pascal Rheault recalls that Abitibi-Témiscamingue still does not have a regional slaughterhouse.
In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the average price of agricultural land has gone from 180 $ per acre in 1996 to $1,500 per acre in 2022.