FCC pledges flexibility for soaked Ontario, Quebec growers

Canada’s federal ag lending agency has announced a customer support program to limit “financial pressure” on its farming clients in rain-soaked areas of western Quebec and eastern Ontario.

Farm Credit Canada on Wednesday announced the program, in which it said it “will work with customers to come up with solutions for their operation(s) to reduce the financial pressure caused by excessive moisture.”

Producers in this case “are facing a cash shortfall since they were unable to seed or were forced to replant due to extreme rainfall, while others face additional costs from having to purchase feed as a result of reduced yields of corn, soybeans and hay,” FCC said.

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The Regina-based lender didn’t specify Wednesday what sorts of solutions will be available.

Its customer support programs in previous years, however, have offered loan payment schedule adjustments or deferrals to help producers in an afflicted area or sector past their short-term cash flow problems.

“Excessive rainfall has certainly impacted the growing season in parts of Eastern Canada and, in some cases, caused financial challenges for farm operations, as well as personal hardship and stress,” FCC CEO Michael Hoffort said in a release.

“We want our customers to know we stand by them and will show flexibility to help them through challenging times.”

Eligible FCC customers in eastern Ontario and western Quebec were encouraged Wednesday to contact their representative or its customer service centre to discuss their “individual situation and options.”

FCC noted that while customer support is being offered in “specific locations” through this program, it may be able to provide “flexibility” to all customers facing “challenging business cycles and unpredictable circumstances” on a case-by-case basis.

Among other examples, FCC customer support programs were also offered to growers in dry areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan and to poultry producers affected by British Columbia’s avian flu outbreak in 2015, and to hog producers up against low market prices and high feed costs in 2012. — AGCanada.com Network

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