Ask FSA Andy about farm operating loans

snowy farmland

Hello again,

I think I’m going crazy, I still have a ceramic Turkey on my kitchen table and the kids think it’s time to bake Christmas cookies — geeze.

I must not move quite as fast as I used to. I spent the afternoon opening mail, sorting bills and playing the farm juggle with the books.

The financial portion of farming is very stressful but can be rewarding.

With the end of the year fast approaching, let me shed some light on Farm Service Agency loan options.

Times like these call for a visit to an FSA office to learn about farm operating and microloans.

Operating loans

Operating loans range from one- to seven-year terms, with the rates based on the agency borrowing costs.

Direct operating loans allow farmers to purchase livestock, equipment, seed, feed, farm chemicals and supplies and refinance debt with certain limitations.

Direct emergency loans allow borrowing up to 100 percent of the actual or physical loss up to $500,000 maximum program indebtedness; to reorganize the farming operation.

In order to meet with the Farm Service Agency lending staff, contact your local office.


The FSA offers farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property.

These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.

Microloans have helped farmers with operating costs such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013.

Microloans are now available to help with farmland and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements.

FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations.

Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers and can be issued to the applicant directly from the FSA.

I have never been great with numbers, but I would say I am a farmer and I enjoy helping people with all sorts of farming decisions.

Farming is a team event. It takes several resources to ensure the farm succeeds.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy


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