More time granted to repay MCGA cash advances

(Dave Bedard photo)

Prairie grain and oilseed growers who took out cash advances in the 2013 crop year through the Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) now have more time to repay.

The federal government on Tuesday announced a stay of default on repayment of advances made through the MCGA for crops in 2013 — resetting the repayment deadline for that crop year at March 31, 2015.

Prairie growers trying to ship a record-sized 2013 Prairie crop of 76 million tonnes have run up against backlogs in the grain handling system, due to the size of the crop and harsh winter shipping conditions.

Some Prairie growers trying to move those crops have since been “further hampered” this summer by a shortage of trucks and limited access to roads and highways due to flooding across parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the government added.

That said, the stay applies to repayments on advances issued through the MCGA to growers in all four western provinces.

Similar stays were announced in July, including one for grain and oilseed growers who took out APP advances through the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) for the same reasons, and another for mink producers up against a recent major drop in mink fur prices.

The MCGA administers the federal Advance Payment Program (APP) across Western Canada for growers of corn, alfalfa seed, Kentucky bluegrass and annual and perennial ryegrass.

It’s also the APP administrator for all pulse crop growers in Manitoba, on behalf of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association — and for all sunflower growers in Western Canada, on behalf of the National Sunflower Association of Canada.

“Much needed”

“Due to transportation issues and flooding in some areas of the province, many producers have been unable to move their 2013 crop,” MCGA president Myron Krahn, a producer at Carman, Man., said in the government’s release Tuesday.

“This will be extremely well received as it will take the pressure off and bring much needed relief to those producers.”

During the stay period, eligible producers will have the option to repay APP advances in cash, if they wish, without facing a “payment without proof of sale” penalty.

During a stay, all other APP rules and guidelines still apply. Participating growers must still make repayments on existing advances every time they sell crop associated with the given advance.

The government reiterated Tuesday that changes are also being set up in the APP, to allow producers until the end of a production period to provide proof of sale on any commodity covered by the program.

The APP, a federally-backed financial loan guarantee program, allows for cash advances to producers of up to $400,000 on the value of their product, with the first $100,000 interest-free in each crop year. — Network



About the author



Stories from our other publications