(BLACK PRESS file photo)

Lacombe’s AFSC ready to help Alberta producers facing difficult times

2019 season not easy for Alberta producers due toweather and other challenges

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) clients impacted by this year’s weather can depend on proven programs to help get them back on track.

The 2019 season has not been easy for Alberta producers, as weather and other challenges have had a serious impact on operations throughout the province. With snow blanketing the province, and harvest considered finished—farmers face large amounts of potential unharvested acres. In addition to reduced production levels, producers are concerned about potential feed quality, the increasing price of hay, getting products to market, and, in some cases, the stability of their overall farming operations.

“Harvest 2019 has been tough for farmers. Trade disputes, bad weather and high input costs have added up to be a difficult year. With all the uncertainty, Alberta farmers can count on their government to find efficiencies and fund BRM programs, fight carbon taxes and promote free trade,” stated Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen.

With a full suite of Business Risk Management programs, AFSC is once again ready to support clients facing financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control. These programs are designed to compensate for factors such as adverse weather, increasing costs and fluctuating markets.

AFSC has a number of options available to help clients with cash flow challenges. This year, eligible clients can take advantage of a Post-Harvest Advance or a Preliminary Payment, and receive a portion of their estimated claim as an early payment, within days of submitting a Harvested Production Report.

AFSC has a long history of taking a client-friendly approach when their producers have trouble making scheduled loan payments. For clients facing financial strain caused by challenges this season, AFSC will consider deferring loan payments, on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, when harvest is delayed due to the onset of winter, AFSC will extend production insurance coverage to unharvested crops until the crop can be combined in the spring or managed by other means. Once again, to help with cash flow, clients with a substantial percentage of insured acres that remain unharvested at the onset of winter may be eligible for an Unharvested Acreage Benefit through the annual production insurance program.

For these and more options, clients are encouraged to contact their AFSC Relationship Manager or the AFSC Client Service Centre at 1.877.899.2372, to discuss their individual situation and options that might work for them.

Beginning November 18, 2019, AFSC will host six Town Hall presentations at various locations throughout Alberta. Producers can learn more about the unharvested situation, ask questions and discuss this year’s challenges and options.

AFSC CEO Steve Blakely understands the stress many producers feel these days, facing potentially significant losses. “Our programs recognize producers can’t control the forces of nature, and they are designed to respond in situations like this. We are here to help—and ready to work with our clients to support them through this difficult time.”

AFSC encourages those who may be struggling or need additional support to check out The Do More Agriculture Foundation website for a list of mental health and well-being resources.

-Submitted by AFSC

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