TORONTO - The latest farm value report from Farm Credit Canada says the average value of Ontario farmland increased by 7.2 per cent during the second half of 2011.

In the two previous six-month periods, farmland values increased by 6.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.

Ontario's farmland values have been rising since 1993 and reached a peak increase of 8.2 per cent in the last half of 1996.

By comparison, the average value of Canadian farmland grew 6.9 per cent in the last six months of 2011, following a gain of 7.4 per cent in the previous reporting periods.

Overall, farmland values increased in nine provinces and remained unchanged in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saskatchewan, which has 40 per cent of Canada's arable land, experienced the highest average increase at 10.1 per cent.