November is a time for reviewing traditions, and your fiscal options

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Hello again,

November is upon us and across the state, farmers are wrapping up harvest. I’ve always thought of November as a time to slow down and reflect on traditions and the positive things that have occurred in my life.

November is time for football games, tailgating and bonfires. November is the time as Americans we have the privilege to exercise our rights to vote on local, state and national candidates and issues.

Honoring veterans

November is the time we honor the veterans who fought to ensure our freedom in various battles and wars. November is the time we gather with family and friends to give thanks for the bounty that has been bestowed upon us.

November is also the time many farmers sit down at their desk and go through the stack of mail piled up on the desk while they were too busy harvesting. Bills, bills and more bills, all due by the end of the year.

The bins are full but most of the grain is unpriced or contracted for future delivery, which can cause a dilemma to the farm operations’ cash flow. At FSA, we provide Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) which provides short-term financing at harvest time to help grain farmers meet cash flow needs without having to sell the grain right away.

Delaying the sale

This low-interest loan allows the farmers to delay the sale of the grain until more favorable market conditions occur throughout the year. Using these loans allows producers to have income while still holding on to the grain for later sale.

Farmers may use the loan funds as they wish. Many use the money to repay other loans with a higher interest rate or for operating expenses. The MALs for grain crops are considered “nonrecourse” because the loan can be redeemed by repayment, or by delivering the grain crop that was pledged as collateral to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) as full payment for the loan upon maturity.

The loans mature in nine months following the loan approval. Farmers must comply with annual program requirements and maintain beneficial interest in the eligible grain crops.

Eligible farmers

Eligible farmers may be the farm operator or a landowner with a share in the risk of producing the crop. For the grain to be eligible it must have been produced, harvested and be in storable condition; be marketable, and meet minimum grades and quality standards.

To inquire more detail information on the MAL, just contract your local FSA office to obtain the current interest rates and the 2016 loan rates for each commodity you have stored, or you can always seek more information on the web at www.fsa.usda.gov, and look for “Price Support.”

Let’s make this November not only a time to act upon old traditions, but maybe incorporate some new traditions.

Traditions can help define who we are; they provide our lives with something stable, unfailing and secure in a confusing world. A tradition I hope that I never forget is to thank farmers for the food on our tables and the clothes on our back because without them, it would not be possible.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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