Helping hand for farmers to avoid harvest of red ink from soggy Prairie crop

Farm Credit Canada says it will consider deferral of principal payments on loans to help farmers on the Prairies who are facing financial hardship because of wet weather before and during this year’s harvest.

The agricultural lender says rain in the last half of the growing season and snow early in October have caused significant harvesting delays in many areas and reduced crop quality.

The group says it will work on a case-by-case basis with customers to find solutions to financial troubles caused by the bad weather.

Besides deferring principal payments, the FCC says it would also look at amending loan payment schedules.

Affected customers are being asked to contact an FCC representative to look at their situation and discuss options.

Farm Credit Canada has a loan portfolio of more than $28 billion.

“This year’s wet weather in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba has certainly been challenging for many farmers whose crops have been affected by excessive moisture,” said FCC president and CEO Michael Hoffort in a statement.

“We want to assure them that we understand their situation and will help them through any financial hardship this has created.”

Relentless rainstorms in Alberta and Saskatchewan during the summer increased the risk of rot and disease in what was being billed as a bumper year.

Snow that fell before Thanksgiving kept many farmers off their fields at a time when they had hoped to be getting the bulk of their crops in the bin.

Last year, large parts of the Prairies were in the midst of a severe drought and farmers were desperate for rain.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Farm Credit Corporation