OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Aug. 6 announcement by Canada’s Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz and Minister of State for Agriculture Jean-Pierre Blackburn will go a long way to help Canada's recovering livestock sector to address their concerns about the immediate repayment of the loans made through the Advance Payment Program (A.P.P.), the Canadian Pork Council (C.P.P.) said.

"The emergency advances under the A.P.P. provided a critical means of assistance when the hog industry was under unbearable economic pressure," said Jurgen Preugschas, C.P.C. president. "Today's announcement will further strengthen our industry by providing producers the opportunity and time to review their cash flow, manage their financial obligations and focus on farming."

Most recently Canadian hog producers have been seeing better returns from the market, however, several months of positive margins cannot erase the more than three years of accumulating debt. Without this extension, producers would have been forced to repay the full amount of the loan in September – a time when their ability to repay any significant debt is at its lowest.

"The Canadian pork industry appreciates the efforts of Minster Gerry Ritz, Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food officials for their dedication and hard work to develop a means within the program parameters to address the pork industry's request to extend the repayment terms of the loan for producers," said Jean-Guy Vincent C.P.C. vice president.

Hog producers will have until March 31, 2013, to repay amounts owed, with regular payments to begin 18 months from the start of the stay of default. Producers should contact their program administrator to set up an appointment to discuss the details of today's announcement and establish a repayment schedule for their loan.