A handful of years ago, I met an older farmer who described the period between harvest and sale day as ‘porridge time’. The image of that tough, weathered farmer tightening even his breakfast budget to bridge the gap between when bills are due and when payments finally arrive has always stayed with me. It’s not that porridge is bad — some days, a cozy bowlful is just the thing. The problem is the cyclical ups and downs inherent to farm finances restricted his choices, and not just for breakfast.
Farming’s sporadic cash inflow often limits farmers’ ability to best market their crops, to save on interest payments, to take advantage of great deals and investment opportunities, and more. Luckily, the Alberta Wheat Commission’s FarmCash program can help when in these cash-strapped situations.
FarmCash is a simple and convenient cash advance program which offers low-interest loans of up to $1 million, with $100,000 interest-free, on over 50 agricultural commodities including all major crops, honey and livestock. Administered by the Alberta Wheat Commission and guaranteed by the federal government, the program lends money, restriction free, for up to 18 months on crops and 24 months on livestock.
Though more than 30 administrators currently offer the Advance Payments Program, the Alberta Wheat Commission offers the lowest interest rate available at TD prime minus 0.75 per cent. We offer farmers zero administrative and processing fees, an easy, online application option, a commitment to complete financial transparency, and a guarantee we’ll reinvest any surpluses right back into programs and services which benefit farmers.
FarmCash is much more than just a low interest loan. It’s cash flow that can help farmers grow — a true cash leveraging tool which provides financial peace-of-mind, access to opportunities, and improved profitability, both at “porridge time” and for the rest of the year. Many Albertan farmers use the flexibility they gain from FarmCash to retain their crop for later-season, higher-return sales, to jump on equipment and input sales, or simply to better withstand the risk and unpredictability of crop returns.
Farming has all kinds of ‘only in farming’ budgeting and cash flow management challenges. Among the hardest is the awkward financial hiccup that hits many farm businesses around harvest. Instead of being cash-strapped, be FarmCash-flexible.