Farmers can start applying for the new, higher cash advances from the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), starting Friday (June 7).
“It’s three days earlier than we planned, but our team has been working very hard, along with program officials, to get this enhanced service in the hands of the hundreds of farmers who have called our office in recent weeks,” CCGA director of operations Dave Gallant said on the association’s website.
“Our updated 2019 cash advance application is now available on three platforms including phone applications, and two web-based options.”
Last week the federal government announced farmers could apply for the higher advances starting June 10 and money would flow as of June 26.
The federal government announced changes to the Advance Payments Program May 1 aimed at improving canola farmers’ cash flow in wake of China’s boycott of Canadian canola seed.
The new maximum eligible advance is $1 million, up from $400,000.
The maximum interest-free advance on all farm commodities remains $100,000, plus an extra $400,000 for canola only.
The new higher interest-free limit for canola applies to 2019 only. The increase to the total amount farmers can borrow is permanent.
Farmers repay the loans as they sell products. The advances provide farmers with cash flow so they don’t have to sell when prices are low.
The CCGA says farmers should apply right away for cash advances.
“We’ll be accepting pre-applications at the increased limits until June 25,” Gallant said. “It’s a good idea for farmers to get their paperwork done early so that we can process these advances and potentially deposit their advance funds on our first day of issuing, June 26.”
The $1 million maximum eligible advance is cumulative over two program years, including 2019 and 2018.
“If a farmer has a 2018 advance, the value of that advance will be included in calculating the maximum eligible advance for 2019,” Gallant said.
Farmers who want to apply for, or increase their advance, but stay under the current limit of $400,000 can apply now and, if eligible, will have funds issued immediately, once approved. These advances would include the new interest-free limit up to $400,000.
Farmers who want to apply for, or increase their advance to an amount that’s more than $400,000 can complete a pre-application now and, if eligible, will have funds issued beginning June 26.
There are several ways to apply to the CCGA for a cash advance. First- time customers can call 1-866-745-2256. Farmers can also download an application form from the CCGA’s website.
Farmers who have an existing 2019 advance and want to apply for additional funds over $400,000 will have to call to complete an application or download an application form.
Existing CCGA customers who have not yet applied in 2019 and already have an CCGA online account have the option to apply online through their cash advance account login or use one of the other options mentioned above.