Ask FSA Andy about farm storage loans

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grain bin

Hello again, friends;

I had a great conversation with a customer who came into our office last week. He is a little unconventional for most farmers I run into.

He has his pilot’s license, takes motorcycle trips out west when he gets a chance, and also plays in a local band that shows up in public on occasion.

With all this going on, he is not the biggest farmer in the county. He has a modest operation, farming a few hundred acres of his own and renting a couple of neighboring farms.

Time

After prying out from him the details of his latest adventure (which he gave up very willingly), the conversation turned to time management. How do you, I asked, get everything done you want to do?

He admitted harvest time requires his complete attention. Many times the perfect window for harvest is so short, that you need to be prepared to make the most of it.

Equipment needs to be ready, calendars cleared, and a plan in place for moving the grain once it comes off.

Storage

One great time saver, he revealed, was his decision several years ago to invest in on-farm storage.

He put up a small grain bin one year, and then another bin and dryer the next year. I couldn’t agree more.

One of the most valuable tools to have is availability. Having that grain bin available for delivery 24 hours a day, seven days a week saves time and helps a farming operation run more efficiently.

Farm storage loans

Fortunately, FSA has a program to help producers who are looking to establish or increase on-farm storage.

The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program provides low-interest loans to interested applicants.

Grain bins, dryers, silos, bunkers, hay barns, and cold storage are just some of the types of storage facilities eligible under this program.

Loans are available for all sorts of projects. FSA has Microloans for projects under $50,000 all the way up to $500,000 for those large operations.

Interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan, based upon the rate during the month of loan approval.

Rates

For October, interest rates are 1.5 percent for a 3-year term, 1.75 percent for a 5-year term, 2 percent for a 7-year term, 2.125 percent for a 10-year term, and 2.25 percent for 12-year term loans.

In most cases, participants are required to carry crop insurance for loan approval and provide records showing enough cash flow for repayment.

Assessment

One word of caution: if you plan to use the FSA Facility Loan program to fund your project, make sure you file an application with our office prior to beginning any site preparation.

FSA needs to do a site assessment prior to the beginning of the project to make sure it meets environmental qualifications.

There has never been a better time to increase or upgrade your on-farm storage facilities.

More and more farmers are taking advantage of this great time-saving tool. Don’t be left behind.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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