This month’s articles from FSA Andy will originate from the beautiful hills of Coshocton County. The Coshocton Fair began on Oct. 2, so between the construction of the 4-H fair booth, the readying of projects and preparing displays, FSA activities almost have become an afterthought. Almost.
Being so late in the year, many farmers in the county use the fair as a barometer of harvest. If crops are ready before the fair, it is an early year. If crops are not yet mature when fair gets here, it is a late year. I think for many producers, the latter is true for 2009.
As fall harvest begins, discussions usually turn to crop yields. Bushels per acre, moisture levels and field conditions seem to be part of every conversation.
Sometimes, as harvest gets going, some farmers lose sight of another important factor, and that is market prices. It is very easy to get wrapped up in harvest and say to yourself you will worry about markets later. And sometimes that has to be the case, especially in years with small harvest windows.
When you do sit down to consider marketing your crop, I would encourage you to remember that FSA offers a Marketing Assistance Loan. The purpose of this low interest loan is to allow grain producers the freedom to store their grain to be marketed at a later date, while having the benefit of income up front. The loan interest rate for Marketing Loans approved in October is 1.375 percent.
Marketing Loans are available on grain stored both on the farm and at an eligible warehouse, provided that the applicant retains beneficial interest in the crop. Loan terms are for nine months. The loans can be repaid at any time during this term. Repayments can be in cash or through proceeds of the grain.
Check with your individual county for the loan rate. Loan rates differ based upon where the commodity is stored. Liens are placed only on the stored grain, so no other type of security is required for these loans. This also means that the grain must be harvested to be placed under loan.
There is basically no restriction on use of the loan proceeds. Applicants can use the funds for pre-purchasing seed or fertilizer for next year, paying outstanding bills or even for that winter family vacation that was put off until the crops were in.
Applicants will be required to maintain both the quality and quantity of grain under loan. Contact your local Farm Service Agency office for more information on this program.
Have a great harvest season!
That’s all for now,