Canadian cattle, pork producers given payment reprieve
by Bryan Salvage
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Struggling Canadian cattle and hog producers have been given more time to repay cash advances under the Advance Payment Program (A.P.P.). On Aug. 6, a stay on the repayment of livestock advances was announced by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
"Today, we are providing the extra time that will give producers the breathing room they need to seize market opportunities and improve their bottom line," Ritz said.
"The livestock industry is a significant contributor to Canada's agricultural economy," said Blackburn, who made this announcement simultaneously from Quebec City. "Allowing more time for livestock producers to meet their financial obligations makes sense and helps producers better manage their cash flow and take advantage of the best market conditions."
"Today's announcement will strengthen our industry by providing producers the opportunity and time to review their cash flow, manage their financial obligations and focus on farming," said Jurgen Preugschas, Canada Pork Council president.
Producers who took an advance in 2008-09 face the prospect of repaying large cash advances this fall, creating significant cash-flow pressures. A Stay of Default allows livestock producers to spread their repayments out over a longer period of time and avoid default.
Two new Stays of Default come into effect on Oct. 1. Cattle producers will have until March 31, 2012, to repay amounts owed, with regular repayments to begin eight months from the start of the Stay. Hog producers will have until March 31, 2013, to repay amounts owed, with regular repayments to begin eighteen months from the start of the Stay.