The following is a summary of some of the programs currently available to Ontario farmers. Programs and services are subject to frequent changes so please verify any of the program information by consulting the contacts listed for each program.
The Agricultural Information Contact Centre of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) provides province wide, toll-free technical and business information to commercial farms, agri-businesses and other rural businesses. It can be reached by telephone at 1-877-424-1300 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The Grain Financial Protection Program
The Grain Financial Protection Program is designed to protect grain corn, canola and soybean producers. Compensation is provided if a licensed dealer defaults on payment, or if there is a shortfall in grain corn, canola or soybeans held by an elevator operator licensed under the Grains Act.
Eligible producers sell grain corn, canola or soybeans to a licensed dealer, and store grain corn, canola or soybeans with a grain elevator operator who is licensed under the Grains Act.
Licensing requirements apply to buyers, dealers and elevator operators.
For more Information
Grain Licensing and Inspection
Tile Loan Program
The Tile Loan program, authorized by the Tile Drainage Act, provides loans to agricultural property owners to assist them in financing these tile drainage projects. The Tile Loan Program is a partnership between municipalities and the province. The term of the loan is 10 years. A loan cannot exceed 75% of the total cost of the work.
The loan interest rate is established by Order-in-Council and is reviewed annually; the current rate of 6% was set in 2004.
The province has an annual loan limit of $50,000/individual farmer per fiscal year. Farmers may pay off their tile loans at any time without penalty.
A municipally appointed inspector must inspect work.
Application forms are available from your local municipality.
For additional details, contact OMAFRA
Phone: 1-888-466-2372 ext. 6-3552
Advance Payments Program (APP)
The Advance Payments Program provides cash advances with an interest-free feature on the first $50,000 to eligible producers who store eligible crops after harvest.
This program is designed to encourage orderly marketing of crops.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada guarantees advances through eligible administrators (producer organizations) who administer the program on behalf of their members.
Eligible crops include corn, soybeans, spelt, ginseng, apples, carrots, onions, barley, oats, mixed grain, canola, potatoes and spring or winter wheat.
Producers repay their advance as the crop is sold throughout the year. The advance must be repaid within 12 months. Loans of up to $250,000 are available to qualified borrowers. The first $50,000 borrowed is interest free, with the balance available at an interest rate of prime minus 0.25%. The advance guarantee rate cannot exceed 50% of the expected average farm gate price for the crop year.
Crop insurance is not required to qualify for this program. Applicant must have grown the crop and placed it in storage. Storage can be on-farm or with a licensed storage facility. An inspection of the stored crop may be required before advance cheques are released.
Application forms are available from licensed grain dealers and producer organizations that administer the APP program or you can contact:
Farm Business Assessment (FBA)
The Farm Business Assessment Service is delivered through the Canadian Farm Business Advisory Services as part of the APF's Industry Renewal element a 5-year initiative ending March 2008.
Under this program, producers can access a total of 5 days worth of business planning expertise from a qualified advisor for a nominal fee of $100. The service includes a Farm Financial Assessment, the development of an action plan and a follow-up visit.
The services are available to all farmers with gross farm incomes of at least $10,000. It will also be available to beginning farmers.
For more Information contact:
Canadian Agri-Renewal Services
Farm Debt Mediation Service
The Farm Debt Mediation Service provides insolvent farmers and their creditors with mediation services pursuant to the federal Farm Debt Medication Act and Regulations to help them arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement.
The service is a private, confidential and economical alternative to the often costly, public and drawn-out process of resolving insolvency disputes in the courts.
Those eligible for debt mediation include insolvent individuals, corporations, partnerships, co-operatives or other associations of persons "engaged in farming for commercial purposes".
To be considered insolvent, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
• unable to meet their obligations as they generally come due
• ceased paying their current obligations in the ordinary course of business as they generally become due, or
• the value of their property, if disposed of at a fairly conducted sale under legal process, would not be sufficient to enable payment of all their obligations, due and accruing due.
For more Information
The Farm Line
The Farm Line is a confidential telephone emotional support and referral service provided to farmers and farm families in the province of Ontario.
Trained telephone peer support staff talk to the caller, identify resources in the caller's area and help the caller determine the steps to follow to address the caller's needs. Accessible Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Farmline is a bilingual service.
For more Information
Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program
This program requires beef dealers to be licensed in Ontario in order to purchase beef cattle or carcasses sold on a rail grade basis. The program provides for financial protection to the seller, i.e. producers, sales barn operators and county dealers, on the sale of beef.
This program can compensate Ontario beef producers at 90% of their losses when a licensed dealer has defaulted on a payment. Reporting of payment defaults have to be made within the time limits of the program guidelines
To be sure a dealer is licensed, ask to see a licence, or phone the program administrator. The OMAFRA website also has the current list.
For more Information
Phone: 1-888-466-2372 ext 6-3886
Canadian Agricultural Skills Service (CASS)
The Canadian Agricultural Skills Service (CASS) provides funding and practical assistance to producers and their spouses to acquire new skills and learning opportunities to enhance farm profitability, or enhance off-farm income.
Learning Plans can be directed towards individual goals such as:
• improving farm production and management practices
• building new agricultural enterprises
• creating new business ventures or
• obtaining employment income.
CASS has two components:
1) A confidential skills assessment, and the development of an Individual Learning Plan
2) Financial support to undertake learning activities identified in the Individual Learning Plan
Who Is Eligible
CASS is available to farmers and their spouses who have an average family income no greater than $45,000.
The skills assessment and Individual Learning Plan is available to qualifying beginning farmers, regardless of income.
The farmer/beginning farmers must be:
• engaged in farming, with gross farm sales >$10K
• out of school for 2 years
• not receiving Employment Insurance.
For more Information contact
Con*nect CASS Centre