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Livestock producers get extension to repay APPs

Cash-crunched cattle and hog producers now have until Sept. 30, 2010 to repay cash advances made to them under the federal Advance Payment Program (APP).

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Friday announced the extension of the repayment deadline for livestock advances. The first $100,000 of each producer’s advance will also continue to be interest-free, the government said.

“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,” Ritz said in a release.

This extension, however, “is the breathing room Canadian cattle producers need to put their bottom lines back into the black,” Brad Wildeman, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said in the same release.

The extension of the APP repayment deadline applies to regular and emergency loans taken by cattle and hog producers during the 2008-09 production period. The stay of default in this case covers more than $450 million in advances.

But producers can also still apply for APP emergency advances until March 31, the government said.

Regular APP advances will continue to be available and, beginning in April, producers who meet eligibility criteria will be able to apply for 2009-10 regular advances, the government added.

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