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Farm Credit Canada offering helping hand to hard hit Okanagan fruit and grape growers

While it’s not a cash handout, Farm Credit Canada is offering some easing of payments to Okanagan growers hit by January’s deep freeze.

The Crown corporation is offering short-term credit options, deferral of principal payments or other loan payment schedule changes to reduce financial pressures on producers affected by last winter’s cold temperatures, according to a Farm Credit Canada media release issued today, March 7.

“Farm Credit Canada will also offer flexibility, and even a combination of options based on the individual needs of its customers, since each farm financial situation is unique,” the release read.

The cold snap wiped out the wine grape crop for this year and may have killed a large number of vines.

An estimated 75% of the cherry crop was lost and there was extensive damage to soft fruit trees such as peaches, plums and nectarines, the Crown corporation said.

READ MORE: Fruit growers face tough decisions on foreign labour after losses

“We stand by our customers over the long term, helping them overcome challenges, and this year’s cold weather has certainly been challenging for many BC wine business owners and fruit producers,” Jeff Affleck with the Farm Credit Canada said in the release.

“As a leader in financing to Canadian farmers, we have a responsibility to step up and help.”

Growers can call the corporation’s customer service centre at 1-888-332-3301 for more information.

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