Winter wheat gets new cash advance

A new pre-harvest cash advance program for winter wheat growers has been unveiled.

The new program, effective Oct. 1, is designed to meet the cash flow needs of the winter wheat producer.

“The intent of the program is a way to deliver some money to them closer to the time that they’re seeding,” said Janet Lawson, manager of cash advance services for the Canadian Wheat Board.

That’s an improvement over the previous system, in which the grower had to bear the expense of seeding, then apply for a regular pre-harvest spring advance the following April.

“It wasn’t getting the money to them at the time they needed it,” said Lawson.

She said the board realizes that all of the winter wheat acres covered by crop insurance will already be in the ground Oct. 1.

“So they won’t be getting it before they seed, but shortly thereafter,” she said.

Winter wheat growers had made their complaints about the programs clear to the CWB and to the federal government, leading to the decision to set up the new program.

Lawson said the new program also reflects the big increase in winter wheat acreage and production over the past decade. She said the board issues probably three times as many cash advances on winter wheat as it did a decade ago.

Eligible participants can receive up to 60 percent of the calculated amount upon processing of the application at the elevator. The remainder will be paid out through the 2010-11 pre-harvest program, which begins April 1.

To be eligible, applicants will have to show proof of participation in provincial crop insurance. Those without crop insurance can use AgriStability as collateral.

Producers can obtain up to $100,000 interest free per production period for all crops. If a farmer gets $50,000 under the winter wheat program, he will be limited to $50,000 under the spring advance.

“The winter wheat program is really an early extension of the program that begins April 1,” she said.

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