Feds extend cash advance repayment

The federal government is giving farmers a six-month reprieve in repaying their 2018 cash advances.

Growers now have until March 31, 2020 to pay off cash advances on grains, oilseeds and pulses. The original deadline was Sept. 30.

“Our government is working closely with our farmers to meet their needs and is taking many concrete steps to help them deal with the current market turmoil,” federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in news release.

“This stay of default will give them more flexibility and the room to maneouvre so they can better manage their liquidity.”

Rick White, chief executive officer of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, said the association heard from many farmers asking for additional time to repay their advance.

“There are fewer marketing options for selling and prices have declined, which makes it difficult for farmers to sell their crops at a profit,” he said in a release.

The stay came into effect on Aug. 15. The end of the production period for 2018-19 eligible advances will be extended to March 31, 2020 from Sept. 30.

The interest-free benefit will be extended through the six-month extension. Farmers who are eligible for the stay can make a cash repayment on their 2018-19 advance without providing proof of sale documentation or facing cash repayment penalties.

“During the past 12 months farmers have faced a number of challenges, so we are pleased minister Bibeau has responded with additional support to help them navigate these issues,” said White.

Contact sean.pratt@producer.com

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