Harper Government Ensuring Grain Farmers’ Access to Advance Payments Program

Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the Advance Payments Program (APP) for Western wheat and barley producers will now be delivered by the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), who currently administer the program for over 20 other commodities in Western Canada.

“Canada’s wheat and barley producers constantly adapt their operations to economic and weather realities and their ability to secure cash flow is an essential part of their business decisions,” said Minister Ritz. “Our Government is taking clear and concise action so that wheat, durum, and barley farmers have access to the Advance Payments Program without disruption.”

Western grain producers will be able to obtain their APP cash advances for winter wheat directly from the CCGA beginning on October 1. These advances will be for the 2012-13 production period for winter wheat crops planted in 2011. Spring advances on wheat and barley for their 2012-13 production period will also be issued by the CCGA beginning on April 1, 2012. The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) will finish administering APP advances for the 2011-12 production year only, which includes APP post harvest cash advances this fall.

The CCGA is a national farm organization that has been administering the APP program for more than 30 years. All other crop and livestock sectors receive their APP through farm organizations on behalf of the Government. Today, CCGA issues cash advances on more than 20 commodities in the four western provinces. Their proven track record and experience will provide a seamless transition for wheat, durum and barley producers as well as a reduced paper burden and less administrative fees, as many farmers already work with the CCGA for their canola crop advances. The CCGA offers multiple application methods – online, telephone, fax and mail – which will help producers receive their cash advances more quickly.

“This Government has committed to creating an open market for Western Canadian grain farmers that attracts investment, encourages innovation, creates value-added jobs, and builds a stronger economy,” adds David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills- Grasslands and Parliamentary Secretary for the Canadian Wheat Board. “CCGA has the experience and knowledge necessary to administer the program to an expanded producer base and this change will provide farmers with the reassurance that they can continue to access cash advances for their wheat, durum and barley crops.”