Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a Stay of Default for the 2018-19 Advance Payment Program (APP) today, giving farmers an additional six months to repay the advance.
“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,” she says. “This Stay of Default will give them more flexibility and the room to maneuver so they can better manage their liquidity.”
The stay affects farmers with cash advances on grains, oilseeds, and pulse crops.
“International grain trade issues have impacted marketing plans, and we’ve heard from many farmers asking for additional time to repay their advance,” says Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “There are fewer marketing options for selling and prices have declined, which makes it difficult for farmers to sell their crops at a profit.”
According to a CCGA news release, farmers eligible for the stay, will be able to make their repayment without providing proof of sale documentation or facing cash repayment penalties. However, all other terms and conditions remain in effect, including, says the CCGA, “that existing advances must be made every time a farmer sells a commodity that is associated with their advance.” Additionally, “2018 advances that include an interest-bearing portion will continue to accrue interest throughout the extension.”
“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,” says White. “We look forward to working with the APP team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to implement these changes immediately.”
The deadline for repayment for 2018-19 eligible advances will now be extended from September 30, 2019 to March 31, 2020, with the interest-free benefit maintained throughout the extension.