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Statistics Canada report: 2008 a good year for some

OTTAWA -- A new report says last year was a good one for Canada's grain and oilseed producers, but livestock producers -- particularly hog farmers -- had it rough.

OTTAWA -- A new report says last year was a good one for Canada's grain and oilseed producers, but livestock producers -- particularly hog farmers -- had it rough.

Statistics Canada reports rising feed costs and virtually flat market prices combined to put the squeeze on some farmers as production and inventory of both hogs and cattle fell signifi-cantly.

The agency says large production of grains and oilseeds and higher prices contributed to an increase in farm cash receipts in 2008.

Total farm cash receipts in constant dollars, which consisted of receipts from sales of crops and livestock plus program payments, increased 10.9 per cent.

Virtually all of the increase -- 96.2 per cent -- was attributable to crops receipts.

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Internationally, exports of Canadian agricultural and fish products in 2008 increased 18.7 per cent from 2007, while imports rose 11.7.

As a result, the nation's trade surplus in agricultural and fish products increased to $12.3 billion from $8.9 billion.

The agricultural trade surplus accounted for 26.3 per cent of Canada's total trade surplus, its highest share in 10 years.

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