Ontario to charge interest, set deadlines for Agricorp loans
Ontario’s farm program delivery agency wants its money back.
Agricorp said that all outstanding account balances owed by farmers must be paid back within three years. And starting next January, all outstanding debt will have to be paid back with interest.
Until now, Ontario had granted a waiver of interest to farmers who owe money to Agricorp. The latest waiver, granted last month, expires Dec. 31 this year, Agricorp said. The federal government also waived interest for 2012 on such programs but will resume adding interest in 2013 on amounts owed.
Agricorp said that it will notify producers of the changes by mail over the upcoming weeks and work to set up a repayment plan with producers facing financial hardships.
Current Agricorp customers with a balance owing will now have to set up a repayment plan within 45 days of the date on their statement of account, the agency said.
Farmers can opt to either repay the debt in full at any time, repay it in instalments, or allow it to be repaid from future program payments, as long as those payments are enough to "eliminate" the full balance, with interest, within three years.
Any farmer who no longer takes part in any business risk management programs run by Agricorp, but owes money to the agency, will now have to repay at least a third of that debt each year, starting within one year of the statement of account.