If you are a producer applying for financing for your confined feeding operation, the age of your facility may affect the time it takes to get your financing application processed.
Canada’s Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) is reminding producers to beware financial application processing delays if those producers began operating prior to the introduction of the Alberta Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) in 2002.
When assessing eligibility for financing, lenders typically ask the NRCB for information to confirm an operation’s status under AOPA. The NRCB can usually respond quickly for operations that have AOPA permits issued by the NRCB; however, many hog operations in our province were established in the 1990s, before the AOPA permitting requirements came into effect. In some circumstances, the length of time needed to obtain information about a pre-AOPA operation and respond to the lender may exceed the application window for financing.
Some pre-AOPA operations were either not required to obtain permits when they were established, or they have permits that do not fully describe the scope of those operations as they are today. Especially for producers who are renovating their barns to accommodate new building codes or upgrading sow capacity, this could place additional constraints on timely processing.
For pre-AOPA operations in which documented proof of eligibility is scarce, the NRCB will likely need to do additional work to confirm the operation’s status before satisfying the criteria of the lending financial institution. Where very little information is available, a “grandfathering” determination for the operation may be required. This can take several weeks or more and may also require the NRCB to seek information from the relevant municipality and neighbours of the premise where the operation is found.
Alberta Pork urges all producers seeking financing for a confined feeding operation to be aware of the information required by your lender and factor in the time that may be needed to obtain that information from the NRCB.
For more information or to clarify the information about your permit, please contact your nearest NRCB field office. Dial 310-0000 for toll-free access.