Loans pledged for wildfire-damaged Alberta farms

(Government of Alberta via Flickr)

Ranchers and farmers in two southeastern Alberta municipalities hit by wildfire in mid-October may soon be able to apply for interest-free rebuilding loans.

The province’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC) on Wednesday announced loan applications will be available Jan. 8 for eligible producers in Cypress County and the MD of Acadia.

Applications under the Hilda Wildfire Support Loan Program will be accepted until March 31, AFSC said.

The loans can go to fund working capital, pay expenses and/or help replace lost assets, the province said.

The Hilda wildfires burned over 86,000 acres in the two municipalities, killing almost 200 head of livestock, damaging pastures, fields, fences and buildings and destroying one home.

Loans are to be available to a maximum of $25,000 per individual producer or farming company, for an initial loan term of 24 months with a zero per cent interest rate.

Loans can be renewed for an additional term up to 60 months following the initial 24-month interest-free period, with a maximum amortization period of 84 months.

Rates at renewal will be based on AFSC interest rates posted at the time of renewal for the applicable term, the agency said.

The province noted it has also set up a Wildfire Water Supply Program, to help replace watering systems damaged by the fires in question.

More details on the loan program will be available on AFSC’s website or by phone at 1-877-899-2372. — Network

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