Ask FSA Andy about farm facility loans

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Hello again,

The FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL) provides low-interest financing for producers to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities.

As you begin to look ahead to the next crop year and do your winter planning, it is not too early to begin to consider expanding your storage capacity on your farm with a Farm Storage Facility Loan from the Farm Service Agency.

Farm Storage Facility Loans finance the purchase, construction, or refurbishment of farm storage facilities. The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables.

Qualified facilities include grain bins, and hay barns. In addition, this program finances new cold storage buildings, which can be particularly important to those growing fruits and vegetables for the fresh market.

Loan terms

The maximum loan amount is $500,000 per loan request. Loan terms are seven years, 10 years or 12 years depending on the amount of the loan. Each applicant will be charged a nonrefundable $100 application fee.

Leanne Wise Helmke, an experienced FSA Program Technician in Stark County, has guided numerous farmers through the application process for an FSFL loan, and seen positive results.

“In our county, the FSFL Program has given farmers the ability to increase on farm storage so they have the option of selling grain later in the year, or increasing on farm storage for livestock feeding purposes,” Helmke said. “With the low interest rate, these loans have benefitted the farm overall.”

Steps to follow

FSA accepts FSFL applications year round, and Helmke suggests that farmers consider visiting their local FSA office over the winter months.

“For the next crop year, farmers could come in and seek loan approval in December or January, and be ready to put up a grain bin in March or April when the winter weather breaks in Ohio,” she explained.

And Helmke is looking forward to the opportunity to serve more farmers through the FSFL program, when it expands to include more eligible commodities in the coming year.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program, will soon include dairy, flowers and meats as eligible commodities.

The new commodities eligible for facility loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).

Commodities already eligible for the loans include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities.

For more information about the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program, contact your local FSA office.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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