Cash advances to be offered on unharvested grain

Farmers who weren’t able to wrap up their harvest this fall on account of lousy weather may still be eligible for cash advances under the federal Advance Payments Program.

The Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), which administers the program for farmers in Western Canada, said that effective Tuesday it will accept new seeded cash advance applications until March 2017, for the current program year.

“The deadline extension means farmers have a new option for generating cash flow even though they have unharvested crops,” CCGA CEO Rick White said Tuesday in a release.

“This deadline change applies equally to farmers already enrolled in the 2016 program, as well as those who are applying for the first time.”

The Advance Payments Program is a federally-backed loan guarantee program which allows farmers to access low-interest cash advances.

For eligible crop producers, the program offers $100,000 interest-free and up to $400,000 at an interest rate below CIBC Prime, with repayment periods of up to 18 months.

Seeded advances still must be secured by either crop insurance or AgriStability; farmers who use crop insurance must provide proof that their coverage has been extended beyond Nov. 15 this year. Once the crop in question has been harvested, a post-harvest report is also required.

Advances are repayable as the grain is sold, either within 30 days of receiving payment of 60 days from the date of delivery, whichever is earlier. The final allowable date for repayment on a 2016 grain advance will still be Sept. 30, 2017, the end of the 18-month program year.

“In the past we could not issue seeded advances after Aug. 31,” CCGA’s director of operations, Dave Gallant, said in the same release. “This change creates an opportunity for many farmers across the Prairies who were not able to complete harvest this year due to weather difficulties.”

Advances remain available for grains already harvested and stored in farmers’ bins, he added. — AGCanada.com Network

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