FSA Andy gives pointers on the Farm Storage Facility Loan program

Hello again!

The wheat harvest was strong, beans pods are filling, corn is beautiful against the September sky and final harvest preparations are on each producer’s mind.

This is a good time of year to evaluate the effectiveness of your farm’s storage facility and handling systems and to consider participating in the updated Farm Storage Facility Loan program.

Basic information

The 2008 Farm Bill included changes to the FSFL program that went into effect Aug. 17, 2009. The goal of these changes is to offer low-interest financing to build or upgrade storage or handling facilities. The maximum principal amount of a loan has been increased to $500,000.

Producers will need to make a down payment of 15 percent with the loan covering up to 85 percent of the cost of eligible storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment.

The term of the loan can be 7, 10 or 12 years depending on the amount of the loan, and the interest rate will be based on the rate which the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation borrows from the Treasury Department.

September rates are 2.25 percent, 2.875 percent and 3.125 percent for 7, 10 and 12 year loans respectively. Producers can now receive a partial disbursement up to 50 percent of the approved loan amount. The final disbursement is made once construction is completed.

Commodities covered. For Ohio, eligible commodities include: corn, grain sorghum, wheat, oats or barley harvested as whole or other- than-whole-grains; soybeans or minor oilseeds harvested as whole grains; pulse crops; hay; renewable biomass; and fruits and vegetables (cold storage only).

Eligible facilities

The types of eligible facilities has been increased to include items such as new conventional cribs and bins; new and remanufactured oxygen-limiting structures; new flat-type storage structures with permanent floors and bulkheads; new electrical equipment, new safety equipment to improve, maintain or monitor the quality; and other improvements or new systems.

The updated FSFL also includes storage and handling for hay and renewable biomass and new cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables. All new or improved items must have a useful life of at least 15 years.

Application information

If your farm could benefit from a new or updated storage and handling facilities, contact the FSA office which maintains your farm’s records. The first step is to complete the CCC-185 form and pay a nonrefundable $100 application fee. FSA offices have worksheets that can be used to determine your storage capacity and storage needs

Remember, FSFL is a loan program. As with any loan, producers will need to submit items such as financial information, planting/crop history records, proof of crop insurance and collateral.

So, as you are fine-tuning your equipment for the coming harvest, consider the effectiveness of your farm storage facilities and drying and handling equipment and do not miss the opportunity to improve your operation through the updated FSFL program.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

About the Author

FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio. More Stories by FSA Andy

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