Commodity loans made available

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Commodity loans can make a big difference for your operation.

A new week always seems to bring a new adventure. Last week I talked about my oldest daughter buying a car.

I also have a younger driver in the house. She has a perfectly good, safe and durable car for a beginner driver, which she has been driving for the last eight months. It is a 1999 Monte Carlo; she refers to it as the green goblin and I don’t think she means it in a very loving way!

I was lucky as a teenager and I had “cool” parents that bought me a 1978 Camaro. It was a baby blue with white leather interior. I have kept with this tradition as my oldest daughter has a 1999 Camaro. But, this youngest one wanted a Ford Mustang.

So, my husband and I have been hunting high and low for something in our price range, something in good shape and yet sporty and cute! Yes, cars can be cute! Last week we stumbled upon one that we were pretty sure fit the bill. The only problem — it was just a little over our cash budget!

But it was red, a shiny, sporty beautiful red, with a nice tan leather interior. So off to the bank we went to secure a small loan. In hopes of educating this younger daughter a little bit better than we did with her sister, we talked to her about interest, insurance and collateral.

Needless to say, she is 16 years old and we figure that about half of what we said actually sunk in, but at least it is a start. So she will be out driving in her sweet “new-to-her” car, enjoying the spring as we are starting to see more sunshine!

The farmers will also be getting out more in the next few months, as planting season is right around the corner. The Farm Service Agency offers a great loan program for anyone who stores grain for either feed or to market at a later date. These low-interest loans can help you purchase seed and fertilizer for the upcoming crop year.

Marketing assistance loans

A Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) is available for producers who share in the risk of producing an eligible commodity. To be eligible, a producer must maintain continual beneficial interest in the eligible commodity.

These loans are low interest, nine-month loans for stored grain, including corn, wheat, oats and soybeans. The current interest rate for March is 1.5 percent. You can borrow up to 100 percent of the stored commodity.

When you deliver the commodity to a local warehouse, they can send us a check to pay for that amount of grain and pay you the balance. These loans are very easy to obtain with very little paperwork. Call the office if you are interested.

Commodity loan eligibility also requires compliance with conservation and wetland protection requirements; beneficial interest requirements, acreage reporting, and ensuring that the commodity meets Commodity Credit Corporation minimum grade and quality standards.

FSA offers MALs on honey, wool and an assortment of grains, and other approved agricultural commodities. For more details on marketing assistance loans, contact your local county FSA office.

Removing CCC loan collateral

Producers are reminded, if you have grain under Commodity Credit Corporation loan, it cannot be removed or disposed of without prior county office staff authorization or repayment.

The county office staff may issue release authorizations based on a telephone or in person request when you are ready to move the grain. A loan violation is subject to monetary and administrative penalties, such as repaying the loan at principal plus interest, liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans and loan deficiency payments.

All commodity loans are subject to spot check. Locking in a market loan repayment rate is not a marketing authorization. If you are planning to move CCC loan grain, call the local county FSA office staff.

Remember, call before you haul!

Unauthorized disposition of grain

If loan grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or any other form of disposal without prior written authorization from the county office staff, it is considered unauthorized disposition.

The financial penalties for unauthorized dispositions are severe and a producer’s name will be placed on a loan violation list for a two-year period. Always call the county office before you haul any grain under loan.

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