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Sask. grants deferrals on livestock loans

The Saskatchewan government will give cattle and hog producers the option to defer principal payments owed on loans under its short-term cattle and hog loan programs.

Hog producers will have the option to defer the principal portion of the first payment from May 2009, to May 2010, the province said Friday.

Also removed is the requirement for accelerated repayment when the weekly pool price exceeds $140 per 100 kg.

Cattle producers will also have the option to defer their 2009 principal payments for one year.

Those who opt for the principal payment deferral will still have to pay any interest that has accrued on their loans, the province noted. Eligible producers were asked to call toll-free 1-866-947-9113 for more details.

“Cattle and hog producers continue to face financial pressures,” Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud said in a release Friday. “The industry has requested this principal payment deferral to help producers cope with the challenges they face.”

The province announced its $90 million short-term loan program in December last year, with $60 million and $30 million expected to go to the cattle and hog sectors respectively.

The province had cited the rising Canadian dollar and high feed grain prices, which had left producers in a cash crunch. The loans were meant to help in a way that kept trade risks to a minimum.

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