Some cattle and hog producers facing hard financial times now have extra time to repay cash advances under the Advance Payment Program (APP).
A stay on the repayment of livestock advances was announced on Aug. 6 by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
“Canada’s livestock producers have been working hard to restructure their operations to adjust to today’s economic realities,” said Ritz. “Today, we are providing the extra time that will give producers the breathing room they need to seize market opportunities and improve their bottom line.”
Blackburn added, “The livestock industry is a significant contributor to Canada’s agricultural economy.” He made this announcement simultaneously from Quebec City.
“Allowing more time for livestock producers to meet their financial obligations makes sense and helps producers better manage their cash flow and take advantage of the best market conditions.”
Canada Pork Council president Jurgen Preugschas said, “Today’s announcement will strengthen our industry by providing producers the opportunity and time to review their cash flow, manage their financial obligations and focus on farming.”
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president Travis Toews noted the CCA and provincial cattle associations have been discussing the optimum timing of this deadline internally and with ministers and their staff for months.
“We knew the timing would be a challenge for some producers in the program,” Toews said.
“Making this announcement now will help producers make plans. This flexibility strikes a good balance of working to clear up outstanding amounts while allowing producers to focus on the future.”
Producers who took an advance in 2008-09 faced the prospect of repaying them this fall, creating significant cash-flow pressures.
A stay of default allows livestock producers to spread their repayments out over a longer period of time and avoid default.
Two new stays of default come into effect on Oct. 1. Cattle producers will have until March 31, 2012 to repay amounts owed, with regular repayments to begin eight months from the start of the stay.
Hog producers will have until March 31, 2013 to repay amounts owed, with regular repayments to begin 18 months from the start of the stay.
Producers can contact their program administrator for more details.
Regular APP advances will continue to be available to producers who meet the program eligibility criteria.