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Funds To Help Flooded Interlake Farmers

Farmers adversely affected by flooding in the Interlake over the past two years will receive more than $2.5 million from the federal-provincial AgriRecovery program to help them get started this spring, a joint Canada-Manitoba release says.

Crop producers in the rural municipalities of Grahamdale, Siglunes, Eriksdale, Fisher, Bifrost, Coldwell, Armstrong, Gimli, and St. Laurent, the First Nation of Dog Creek, and Northern Affairs areas and First Nations communities deemed eligible in that region that participated in the 2009 AgriInsurance program, will receive $15 per unseeded acre to assist with the extraordinary costs of maintaining these fields following two consecutive years of flooding.

A number of producers concentrated in the eligible area had crop production losses in 2008, with the land being too wet to seed in 2009.

Assistance provided through the AgriRecovery program will help with the cost of restoring the land and will complement the existing programs that are providing operating assistance for 2010.

This program is in addition to assistance available through AgriInsurance, AgriStability, the federal Advance Payments Program (APP) and MASC’s lending programs which supplement the financial tools available through private sector lenders.

The federal APP is available to assist producers with the cash flow needed to seed the crop. Up to $400,000 is available to producers, the first $100,000 being interest free. Typically, with their intended seeded acreage report, producers can access up to 60 per cent of their preproduction advance to help with seeding costs. Once they have seeded, they can access the remaining 40 per cent with their confirmed seeded acreage report.

MASC’s Operating Credit Guarantee Program can assist producers in obtaining operating funds from their bank or credit union. MASC also provides debt consolidation financing in order to assist its direct lending clients in dealing with outstanding operating credit.

Excess moisture conditions in the northern Interlake region in the past two years have resulted in poor crop conditions and unseeded land, creating significant financial hardship for producers.

Note that there is no application for this program. Producers are eligible if they participated in AgriInsurance and had unseeded acreage in 2009. They will automatically receive the payment beginning next week.

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