Sask. delays discontinuing loan program

The wind-down of Saskatchewan’s Livestock Loan Guarantee Program has been extended to July 31, 2019.

Last August, the province announced it would discontinue the program that guaranteed loans to breeder and feeder associations.

Originally, the government said the program would end Dec. 31, 2018, but that was pushed to July after discussions found that more time was needed.

“Extending the LLG provincial guarantee to July 31, 2019, allows one full year from the date of the program wind-down announcement to facilitate an efficient transition for lenders, producers and associations,” said an email from the agriculture ministry. “Both lenders and program participants requested more time to adequately develop transition options for new co-operative lending models.”

The ministry said participation in the program has been dropping, and only about two percent of the livestock herd is financed this way. In 2010, there were 81 associations but now only 45 are participating.

The government said ranchers have a number of lending options in the private sector, and lending is not a core business of government.

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