November 25, 2008

Saskatchewan amends cattle and hog loan programmes

The Saskatchewan government has amended its short-term cattle and hog loan programmes in view of the current financial crisis.

About US$60 million were allocated for cattle while US$30 million for hog last December to provide short-term loans.


Producers will be given the option to defer their principle payments for one year, and the requirement for accelerated repayment of hog loans when weekly pool price exceeds US$140 per 100 kg will be removed, according to Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud.


The livestock industry, especially the hog sector, is facing a major cash flow problem, and producers will continue to feel the effects of the high Canadian dollar and high grain prices, said Bjornerud.


However, Bjornerud said the June and July futures are looking slightly brighter, and that prices are likely to increase.


"The dollar has dropped and we're seeing a little wee bit of movement on the cattle side. On the hog side, of course, we're hoping that will translate into higher hog prices but we haven't seen much of that movement at this point yet," said Bjornerud.


Having the Canadian dollar stay down at around 80 cents would be advantageous for the industry, Bjornerud added.

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