Falling Producers Get a Helping Hand

CANADA - Manitoba will provide assistance to support cattle and hog producers who are struggling to manage soaring feed costs, low livestock prices and the impacts of a high Canadian dollar, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk has announced.
calendar icon 23 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

"The livestock industry in Manitoba and across Canada has been under significant pressure," said Wowchuk. "Producers in Manitoba need assistance and our government is committed to ensuring our farmers in this important sector receive support to maintain their farm businesses today and position the sector for future profitability."

The province, through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), is making $60 million in loan support available to hog producers at attractive interest rates which will assist producers facing significant cash flow challenges. Producers will be able to borrow $35 per slaughter hog and $10 per weanling sold between Oct. 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. Loans will be termed over eight years with the maximum amount being $2.5 million.

Principal payments on these loans will be deferred for the first three years. The first year interest rate will be 2.25 per cent on borrowed amounts of up to $1.5 million with 4.5 per cent charged on any remaining loan amount. All loans will have an interest rate of 4.5 per cent for years two and three and six per cent for the last five years. An additional interest rate reduction of one per cent will be available for young farmers for the first three years.

To assist cattle producers, a new loan-deferral initiative will improve cash flow for producers. MASC will defer principal payments on existing BSE recovery loans for three years with principal and interest obligations to resume in year four.

Wowchuk also announced producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area who are required to have their cattle tested for tuberculosis (TB) will receive provincial assistance of $6 per head. The provincial contribution of $240,000 represents 40 per cent of the costs related to TB testing. The province will encourage the federal government to provide the remainder of the funding.

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