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Producers Given More Time to Repay Cash Advances

by 5m Editor
26 January 2009, at 7:46am

CANADA - Cattle and hog producers facing hard financial times now have until September 30, 2010, to repay cash advances under the Advance Payment Program (APP).

The extension of the repayment deadline for livestock advances was announced yesterday by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. In addition, the first $100,000 of each producer's advance will continue to be interest-free.

"Thousands of farmers across the country have taken advantage of APP loans and this extension will keep them in business and provide relief during the current credit crunch," said Minister Ritz. "This Government will continue to work with livestock producers and their organizations to address the issues facing the sector."

"This extension assists Canadian hog producers to cope with the current financial crisis," said Jurgen Preugschas, President of the Canadian Pork Council. "We are pleased that the Government recognizes the financial difficulties hog producers are experiencing in these tough economic times."

"This is the breathing room Canadian cattle producers need to put their bottom lines back into the black," said Brad Wildeman, President of the Canadian Cattlemen. "We are going to keep working with the Government as we continue to improve programs to make sure they work for Canadian producers."

The extension of the repayment deadline applies to regular and emergency loans taken by cattle and hog producers during the 2008-09 production period. The Stay of Default covers more than $450 million in advances to the livestock sector.

Producers can still apply for APP emergency advances until March 31, 2009. Regular APP advances will continue to be available. Beginning in April, producers who meet eligibility criteria will be able to apply for 2009-10 regular advances.

Improving cash flow to producers through APP and Targeted Advance Payments under AgriStability are just two of a number of measures being taken in response to challenges facing Canadian livestock producers. Minister Ritz has also been working hard developing new marketing opportunities around the world to help Canadian farmers weather the current economic uncertainty and strengthen export markets.