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Farm Finances

By Ken Evans PAg. , Agricultural Programs Specialist, Weyburn

November 2019

Producers are often faced with adverse conditions (weather, weak commodity prices, disease, etc.) that can, in some years, have a significant impact on their farm’s finances. Dealing with those financial pressures can be difficult, but they are not unsurmountable. Understanding how to address these situations and knowing what options are available is helpful. Here’s some suggestions:

  1. For most operations, the task at hand is usually the priority. That is to do all that is possible to complete harvest, if that is an option, in the coming weeks.
  2. The next step in dealing with those stresses is to take stock. In other words, have a thorough knowledge of your inventories. Putting together any plan for recovery can’t be done without knowing what’s on-hand (sometimes that may include crop in the field).
  3. Ideally, as a farmer, you participate in one or more of the risk management tools (Crop Insurance, AgriStability, private revenue insurance, etc.) that are available. Move quickly to determine if you might be in a claim position this year. AgriStability clients should contact their local SCIC office to see if they are eligible to submit an application for an interim payment on their 2019 benefit. You can reach Saskatchewan Crop Insurance at 1-888-935-0000.
  4. Set up a discussion with your creditor(s). Being pro-active by meeting with those lenders shows the initiative and willingness to address any potential challenges. The goal of these discussions is to put together a recovery plan that works for both parties.

Sometimes the road to recovery presents some bigger hurdles or the creditors are now taking action to recover their loans or payables. In these cases, here are some options to consider:

  • Farm Debt Mediation Services. A cost free service to bring producers and their creditors together with a mediator in a neutral forum to reach a mutually acceptable agreement on farm debt and financial obligations.
  • Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA). An umbrella organization of Canadian farm advisors. Certified CAFA advisors offer a broad range of advisory services including the development of a financial recovery plan.

Learning how to identify and manage stress is important and there are many helpful resources available. One excellent source of information with a focus on agriculture is “The Do More Agriculture Foundation”.  Also, take the opportunity to talk with your family physician about ways to maintain your mental and physical health and wellness.

These are some steps and options to consider when faced with financial pressures, however, if those stresses feel overwhelming and immediate you can call the Farm Stress Line at 1-800-667-4442 anytime to simply talk about your situation with someone. All calls are confidential and there is no call display.  

For more information, call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre general inquiry line at 1-866-457-2377.

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