Show me the money! FSA offers microloans, youth loans, short-term loans


Hello Friends,

Do you think there is something is goofy about the weather? Call it whatever, but we might want to start thinking about it. There were four confirmed tornadoes in Carroll County in July. They have had one in the last 30 years. Last Thursday I had just emptied my rain gauge when it started to rain. Not sure I would call it that because in 9 minutes, mixed with hail, I received 1.4 inches of rain.

Unbelievable or strange, not really, seems like that’s been the weather the last five years. I know — just deal with it.


Speaking of deals, the Farm Service Agency has some real good ones on loans. FSA has a new/newer program available called the microloan program. This loan has a simpler application process and is well suited for new and smaller operations.

These loans are available for up to $35,000, and can have up to a seven-year payback. These loans can assist a variety of producers including specialty crop producers and operators of CSAs, or community supported agriculture. They can be used for hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, fertilizer, seed, land rent, marketing or other necessary needs — basically, just about any agricultural endeavor that a person can come up with.

Then, as financing needs increase, applicants can apply for a regular farm operating loan up to $300,000 or move on to a commercial lender.

Rural youth loans

Fair time is upon us, and lots of kids are exhibiting their 4-H projects at the local county fair. Now is not too early to consider a Rural Youth Loan offered by FSA. These loans can be used to establish and operate income producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA, and other agricultural groups.

The loan is not limited to 4-H fair projects, but can be utilized for any agricultural use that can produce sufficient income to pay back the loan.

Loans are available for up $5,000 and must be planned and supported with the help of an agricultural adviser from one of the above mentioned groups. The purpose of the loan is to provide young people (age 10-20), involved in agriculture, with practical business and educational experience.

You also need to be a U.S. citizen and live in a rural area or town with less than 50,000.

These loans are available from FSA, but not every office has a farm loan team located there, but you can call your local office to find out who to contact and they can arrange to meet you at your local FSA office.

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Short-term loans. Don’t forget your local FSA office also offers nine-month loans on corn, soybeans, barley, wheat and other eligible commodities.

The loan program has dropped off in the past few years due to high grain prices and our lower loan rates. I can’t quite figure out why every time I mention our loan rate I hear the same response: I can sell my crop for way more than that.

You are right, you can, but I want to point out we aren’t buying your crop, we are utilizing it for collateral, offering you a ridiculously low loan interest rate (1.125% July) and offering you a chance to prepay for fertilizer, seed, herbicides and anything else you can get a discount on, while you store your grain and wait for your delivery date or the cash price to go up versus selling your crop right now.

I just looked up prices: July wheat is $5.95 /bu. and January is $6.31/ bu. That is 36 cents per bushel more, but who wants more money per bushel when you can sell today for less. Not me. Think about it!

BTW (that’s texting lingo for “by the way”) if you don’t have a bin, guess what? We can make you a loan for that also, with cheaper-than-dirt interest. Call your local FSA office today and find out about all of these great deals.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy


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