August 19, 2014 1:55 pm

Western farmers given more time to repay cash advances

Farmers who failed to get their crops to market will be given more time to pay back cash advances from the federal government.

Vytai Brannan / Global News

OTTAWA – Western farmers unable to get last fall’s crop to market due to rail delays and other transportation issues due to flooding will get more time to repay their 2013 cash advances.

The federal government’s Advance Payments Program forwards money to farmers based on the value of their agricultural products to improve their cash flow throughout the year.

Grain and oilseeds producers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia are being given an extra six months to repay, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said.

The six-month grace period also extends to producers who received an advance through the Manitoba Corn Growers Association.

The original repayment deadline of Sept. 30 has been moved to March 31 of next year.

Last year’s harvest was 76 million tonnes — 50 per cent higher than average — and put significant pressure on grain handling and transportation.

Flooding across Saskatchewan and Manitoba further hampered crop movement due to limited access to roads and highways.

A repayment extension for producers who received cash from the Canadian Canola Growers Association was announced last month.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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