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 by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
"Canada's livestock producers have been working hard to restructure their operations to adjust to today's economic realities," said Minister 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."
"Our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, has been tirelessly working to develop new marketing opportunities around the world to help Canadian farmers weather the current economic uncertainty, strengthen the farm gate and ensure the future of agriculture remains bright. The expansion of markets abroad directly compliments our business management programs here at home."
"The livestock industry is a significant contributor to Canada's agricultural economy," added Minister Blackburn who 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."
"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," said Canada Pork Council President Jurgen Preugschas.
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. Making this announcement now will help producers make plans," Toews said. "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 face the prospect of repaying large cash advances 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 October 1, 2010. 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 eighteen 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.