Termination of the cash ticket deferral program would have significant consequences for Alberta barley farmers
(Calgary, AB) March 27, 2017 – Alberta barley farmers are extremely concerned at the prospect of the federal Liberals’ proposal to scrap the long-standing cash ticket deferral program, announced last week in the 2017 federal budget.
An estimated 80 per cent of Alberta farmers participate in the deferred payment program on sales for barley, wheat, oats, flaxseed, canola and rye. Farmers have used the program for more than 40 years, as a way of ensuring they have appropriate cash flow year-to-year.
Alberta Barley is working hard to help the federal government understand the potentially significant harmful impacts associated with the elimination of the ability to defer payment for grain sales.
“This isn’t just a program used by one or two farmers. Deferring payments is very common and used by an overwhelming majority of Alberta farmers,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair and Bentley-area farmer. “If you do away with deferred cash purchase tickets, an inordinate number of farmers are going to be negatively impacted.”
Due to the uneven nature of the timing of grain sales from year to year based on end users’ needs, farmers have, for decades, been allowed to defer portions of their income into the following year in order to balance farm revenue. The net effect on the federal treasury would appear to be neutral, however the impact on farm businesses from year-to-year would be significant.
By ending the deferral program, farmers would immediately be forced to restructure marketing and purchasing plans that are core to their businesses, and potentially drive decisions that are not market focused.
“Both capital and operating expenses are often planned around the ability to normalize income year-to-year. There will be significant impact on farmers if they are forced to revise a long-standing business practice,” said Lenz.
With spring planting rapidly approaching, the May 24, 2017, deadline for comments is not adequate for Alberta farmers to properly weigh in. Alberta Barley will strongly advocate on farmers’ behalf to address their concerns.
Anyone wishing to provide feedback to the government may do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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