Producers across western Canada short on cash flow have a new tool at their disposal.
The application process for FarmCash's fall Advance Payments Program opened on Wednesday for farmers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
Tom Steve, the general manager of the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions (the Alberta Wheat Commission is the official administrator for FarmCash), said he's unsure how busy they will be dolling out funds to farms in need.
"For the fall advance, farmers do need to have inventory in the bin," he said. "There's going to be a lot less crop harvested in western Canada this year but what they do have is they can use as a resource to leverage some additional cash flow."
The program, based on a farm's size, offers up to $1 million in cash with the first $100,000 of that interest-free and the rest at an interest rate of TD Prime minus 0.75 per cent.
"That is an extremely low interest rate, it's the lowest interest rate you would get for short-term financing and we certainly encourage farmers to look at that," he said. "Especially coming off a very dry year, when cash flow is going to be in short supply."
FarmCash was established in 2018 and test-driven on only Alberta farmers until this past season.
"In the spring of this year, we offered the advance for the first time in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and B.C. so we expanded outside of Alberta for the first time in the spring," he said. "That went over well, so now we're extending the advance into those other provinces for the fall period."