OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Pork producers in Saskatchewan facing cash flow issues are being offered advanced payments under a new program. Producers have access to AgriStability Targeted Advance Payments (T.A.P.), according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Pork producers can now receive a T.A.P. of up to 75% of their estimated 2009 AgriStabilty payment.

"We are committed to working with the hog industry and the province to help them weather this storm," said Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister. "Targeted Advance Payments are one way pork producers can get immediate access to cash flow to help them address this difficult financial situation."

A letter containing information on the amount of producers’ T.A.P. and how to apply will be sent to eligible Saskatchewan pork producers.

Targeted Advance Payments for pork producers are part of a national action plan to help Canada's livestock producers, which includes making program payments under existing programs available earlier. In 2008, improvements were made to the federal Advance Payments Program (A.P.P.) to provide farmers with quicker and easier access to cash advances. On Jan. 23, a stay of default was also granted for A.P.P. advances issued to hog and cattle producers during the 2008-2009 production period.

On Aug. 15, the federal government also announced a comprehensive strategy to restructure the hog industry with initiatives designed to help pork producers recover or exit the industry, and to help the industry take advantage of new market opportunities.