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Regina Leader-Post reports:

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering assistance to customers across Western Canada affected by the current backlog in the grain handling system resulting from record high volumes of grain, the Regina-based federal Crown corporation announced Thursday.

Due to the record harvest of 95.5 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds in 2013, many producers in Western Canada are experiencing delays in being able to deliver and convert their crop to cash. The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan said Wednesday some farmers are facing delays of up to three months to deliver their grain, causing cash flow problems and difficulties paying bills and making loan payments.

FCC is contacting more than 16,000 customers potentially affected by delays in grain delivery to explore options and address their individual needs, FCC said in a press release. "We are aware that this situation could impact our customers' ability to run their operations, so we're reaching out to inform them of the various options available to reduce the impact on their business," said Rémi Lemoine, FCC's executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Producers are encouraged to apply for assistance under the federal Advance Payments Program (APP), a financial loan guarantee program that gives producers easier access to credit through repayable cash advances.

Under the APP, the federal government guarantees repayment of cash advances issued to farmers by producer organizations. These guarantees help producer organizations borrow money from financial institutions to issue producers a cash advance on 50 per cent of the anticipated value of their farm product being produced or is in storage. Eligible producers can receive an APP advance of up to $400,000 at a preferential interest rate, with the government paying the interest on the first $100,000. Producers repay their advance as their product is sold.

Customers are also encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC customer service centre at 1-888-522-2555 as soon as possible to discuss their individual situation and options.

FCC is Canada's leading agriculture lender, with more than $25 billion in its loan portfolio and 20 consecutive years of portfolio growth. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations.

For more information, visit or follow Farm Credit Canada on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter@FCCagriculture.

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