Cattle producers will have access to significantly higher borrowing limits under an enhanced Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee (MLALG) program, according to Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development minster, Ron Kostyshyn.
The borrowing limit for the MLALG program has increased to up to $8 million from $5 million for associations and up to $500,000 from $300,000 for individual association members.
“Changes to the borrowing limits were needed to reflect higher cattle prices and the growing size of livestock operations across the province,” says Kostyshyn. “Based on recommendations from livestock associations and livestock producers, the expansion will help ensure producers can access the financing they need to manage their farms effectively.”
The MLALG program provides producers who are members of livestock associations with more favourable financing terms than they would be able to access individually, and reduces handling costs due to the higher volumes of cattle sold through the associations. Producers can use the funds to purchase feeder or breeder cattle with repayment terms of up to one year and up to seven years, respectively.
“The increase in borrowing limits will go a long way in making the program a viable option to finance the purchase of cattle required for expanding operations with the new reality of dramatically higher prices,” says Rob Smith, executive director of the Association of Manitoba Feeder Cooperatives.
MLALG, which is administered by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), provides a 25 per cent guarantee of the loans made by private-sector lenders to livestock associations. Last year, MASC approved a total loan amount of $21.6 million for eight livestock associations with more than 200 association members.