Forms ready for Prairie growers’ spring cash advances

The canola growers’ body in charge of the cash advance program for Western Canada’s crop producers is now taking applications for 2011.

The Advance Payments Program offers farmers up to $100,000 interest-free, and an additional $300,000 at “very competitive” interest rates, the Canadian Canola Growers Association said in a release Monday.

New for 2011, the CCGA will offer a “fax back” option it said will improve the service level for farmers.

“Having the application forms and online system available earlier in the spring is one way we can provide better service to farmers who have a busy field season right around the corner,” CCGA general manager Rick White said in the same release.

“We’re already receiving calls from farmers wanting to complete their cash advance applications before they get into the field.”

Eligible farmers can apply online or call 1-866-745-2256 to complete a telephone application. Applications are also available at a number of grain elevators, the CCGA said.

The rates of available advances in Western Canada for spring 2011 range from $480 per tonne for hemp down to $50 per tonne for standard-grade timothy hay for export.

Crops covered under the program include canola, flax, rye, oats, mustard, triticale, canaryseed, buckwheat, hemp and timothy hay across the West, plus wheat, durum and barley grown outside the Canadian Wheat Board’s designated area.

Crops covered only in Saskatchewan and Alberta include lentils, Desi and Kabuli chickpeas, peas, soybeans, fababeans and white, coloured and pinto beans.

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