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This is more than just a loan program


Written by Richard Kamchen

More western Canadian farmers are signing on to FarmCash to meet their short-term needs and enhance their long-term profitability.

Applications for the program grew by almost 70 per cent in its third year, according to FarmCash COO Syeda Khurram.

“We see that producers are leveraging this tool after they come to know about it. And the trend is upward.”

FarmCash was designed specifically to help farmers grow their operations,” says Alberta Wheat Commission chair Todd Hames.

“With continual updates to ensure the program stays relevant in this day and age – now is a great time to apply and see what FarmCash can do for you.”

Business management tools

Covering over 50 commodities — including all major crops, livestock, and honey — FarmCash offers producers quick access to up to $1 million.

“Farming is a different business now than it was for previous generations,” says Hames. “Tools like FarmCash can have a big impact on a farm’s profitability, providing flexibility to market crops when prices are most advantageous is just one example.” Producers also gain the flexibility to make valuable investments for their operations, such as equipment, inputs, grain bins and buildings.

“It meets their emerging needs as well as long-term needs,” Khurram says. “It’s an investment tool for producers, which helps them to increase their land value.”

As well, FarmCash delivers much-needed cash flow to navigate factors such as unforeseen vet bills or extreme weather, or to avoid late-payment penalties.

“It’s a low-cost business risk management tool, designed to allow them to weather unexpected financial storms that would hit their farms,” says Khurram.

Low interest

FarmCash can also reduce interest expenses compared to conventional forms of financing. The first $100,000 comes interest-free, with the remainder at a competitively low interest rate of TD prime minus 0.75 per cent.

“At that blended rate, if producers take a $1 million loan, the interest that they would be paying is just 1.52 per cent annually,” Khurram says.

“Those low interest rates allow producers to develop robust farm-succession plans through calculated risks and strategic investment decisions, especially at the time of land transfer,” she says.

Fall application open across the Prairies

Administered by the Alberta Wheat Commission, the FarmCash federal loan program was launched in the fall of 2018 for Alberta producers. In March 2021, it became available to producers in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

This year’s fall applications opened September 1.

“Thanks to FarmCash’s built in flexibility, there really is no wrong time of the year to consider adding it to your farm’s cash flow planning,” Hames says.

Program highlights include:

  • Excellent customer service, with knowledgeable staff and dedicated account managers available by phone or email.
  • No fee to apply.
  • Easy-to-use online application at FarmCashAdvance.com.
  • Quick turnaround application times of three to five business days.

Producers inquiring about their eligibility or available commodities can call 1-855-376-2274 toll-free or email FarmCash@albertawheat.com. FarmCash financials are fully transparent and are reported in the Alberta Wheat Commission’s annual report.

The Advance Payments Program is a federal loan program administered by the Alberta Wheat Commission. It offers Canadian farmers marketing flexibility through interest-free and low interest cash advances.

Originally published on September 15, 2021 in the Western Producer.


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