Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has announced a new loan program to help cattle producers maintain or expand herds in the face of high cattle prices and tight feed supplies.
The FCC Replacement Heifer Program is a loan with a maximum two-year period of interest-only and a maximum life of seven years. For this loan, variable interest rates will be capped at prime plus 1.5%, and loan processing fees will be waived.
The Canadian beef cattle inventory was pegged by Statistics Canada at 10.3 million head earlier this year which is a decline by four per cent since 2017, says FCC.
FCC says it wants to ensure Canada’s cattle ranchers have access to the financial levers they need to plan for the future, as the cattle industry contributes $24 billion annually to the economy and plays a critical role in maintaining the health of grasslands.
“The drought conditions this summer affected a large cattle producing area in Western Canada and right now ranchers are making decisions about how to best manage their herds,” says Sophie Perreault, FCC’s chief operations officer. “The Heifer Replacement Program will help reduce cash flow pressures for those who want to maintain or grow their herd.”
“The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association appreciates FCC’s response to the current needs of livestock producers,” says Garner Deobald, SSGA president. “This FCC program will help producers rebuild or maintain their herds after consecutive years of drought.”