FCC to support Maritime potato farmers

FCC to support Maritime potato farmers
Dec 13, 2018

Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick crops affected by inclement weather focus of assistance

Staff Writer
Maritime farmers dealing with damaged potato crops from adverse weather this fall can look to Farm Credit Canada (FCC) for support.
FCC is offering support to its customers in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick “whose potato crops were impacted by an unusually wet, cold fall, causing a loss in revenue,” a Wednesday FCC release said. 
“I can only imagine the frustration that many potato growers felt as they watched their crops deteriorate in the field,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO, in the release.
“We want those impacted to know we will help them through any financial hardship this adverse weather has created.”
Producers faced a cold spring that delayed planting, followed by a frost that forced farmers to reseed their crops, and a hot, dry summer. October and November proved to be challenging months for growers to harvest their crops as there were limited days in which weather conditions were optimal for harvest.
Many potato producers are facing elevated costs and have lost a large component of this year’s crop as a result of the weather. 
As a former potato farmer, Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, acknowledged the detrimental influence weather can have on crops in the release.
“I know first-hand how much the weather can affect not only short-term revenue, but also the financing to put next year’s crop in the ground,” he said.
FCC will work with customers to determine solutions for their businesses and will consider “deferral of principal payments and/or other loan payment schedule amendments to reduce the financial pressure on producers impacted by adverse weather during this year’s growing season and harvest,” the release said. 
“There are a number of options that we can explore, depending on the customer’s individual circumstances and financial situation,” Trevor Sutter, senior consultant of media relations for FCC, told Farms.com yesterday.
“There are some variations of these options we can explore, but they are all meant to help address short-term cashflow issues and ensure the producer is in a position to plant a crop next year.”
Growers in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick should contact their FCC relationship manager, or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 to explore options for their individual situation.
“We encourage producers to have a risk management plan in place that pulls together mitigation strategies, as well as identifies key risks and available solutions to manage those risks, should they emerge. 
“It’s a good idea for producers and agribusiness owners to engage expert advisors, as the growing complexity of agriculture can present different risks that require more complex solutions,” Sutter added.
LightFieldStudios/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo
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