The federal government has announced measures to assist agriculture through the COVID-19 situation.
Farm Credit Canada has an extra $5 billion to support producers, processors and agribusiness. The funds will assist with cash flow issues created by the impact of coronavirus.
The plan allows deferral of $173 million interest-free loans to producers with Advanced Payment Program loans that are due by April 30.
Farmers with APP loans may apply for another $100,000 as long as the loans are under the $1 million cap.
Producers who took part in the 2018 stay of default this summer should contact their administrator for details. The stay of default gave producers six months longer to repay APP loans as an assist for loss of export markets.
New deadlines for APP loans for livestock, grains, oilseed and pulse producers are Sept. 30, 2020.
In announcing these measures Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the action will offer more flexibility to meet the challenges ahead.
“Farmers and food producers work hard to put food on tables across our country and they should not have to worry about being able to afford loan payments or having enough money to support their own families.”
Meanwhile the Beef Research Council has issued guidelines for cattle sales that use social distancing such as no handshaking and keeping a two-metre distance between people.
Those hosting sales are asked to make cattle available for prior viewing and prospective buyers are asked to view cattle before the sale with one person per farm operation at the viewing or at the sale.
Use of online videos and photos and online bidding of stock is suggested.
Sales should not have more than 25 people present and restrict access by the general public.
Hand washing stations and frequent hand washing are on the list along with sanitizing seating and eating areas.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org