Increased loans under the advance payments program are set to be issued to farmers as early as Wednesday, June 26 accourding to the Federal Government's announcement earlier this month.
The amendments to the program initially announced at the beginning of May to assist farmers affected by trade issues with China, increases loan limits from $400,000 to $1 million for all producers on a permanent basis, and increase the interest-free portion of loans on canola advances from $100,000 to $500,000 in the 2019 program year.
When the changes were announced, they received mixed reaction from the ag community with some citing it as a band-aid fix and a way to simply accumulate more debt, while farm groups like the Canadian Canola Council and the Canadian Canola Growers Association welcomed the assistance for their producers, but are continuing their work with the Government to find a more permanent solution.
Alberta Canola Chair and Westlock area farmer, John Guelly, says it's not a fix to the trade issues with China who've blocked Canadian canola imports, but it's something they asked for from the Government.
"I think it will definitely be helpful to some," he said. "Some I realize probably won't utilize the program, and I might be one of those that might not use it, but on the other hand, I have a lot of security in the thought if I ever do need to use them, that they're there and I have them available to me."
Guelly says they were surprised the interest free portion of the loans only applied to canola advances and not all commodities.
"In a lot of cases, most canola growers are also wheat growers, barley growers, pulse growers, so this advance payment plan is going against canola they have in the bin, or that they've seeded, but it's not just effecting canola growers. It's effecting most Western Canadian farmers because they have a rotation of crops, and canola is usually one of them."Click here to see more...