The United States has a healthy agricultural industry. By providing food on our tables, American farmers and ranchers contribute not only to the health of the nation but to its wealth as well. Our farms grow and produce 80 percent of the food that we consume. This also includes the production of raw materials needed for textiles, ethanol or personal care products.
The agricultural export industry also remains very strong. Last year, the U.S. has exported over 129 billion dollars of produce all across the globe. Our agricultural exports have made history when agricultural exports hit over a trillion dollars from 2009 to 2016.
Money Helps Make the Gears Turn
Just like in any other business, the capital fuels it. Farms and ranches need financing for it to continue to grow and operate. Along with the love for the land and the determination and disciplined work ethic, farmers need the capital to make gears turn.
Agricultural Financing allows agribusiness to flourish by providing funds to buy new farms, modernize and expand existing ones and to cover other farming-related expenses. A variety of agricultural financing products is available for farmers to explore.
Direct Farm Loans
Farm Services Agency of the USDA has direct loan programs to cater to the different needs of American farmers. The funding comes from the Congress’ appropriations for the USDA every year.
There is a Direct Farm Ownership Loan Program which is used to buy new farms, make improvements on existing one or the construction or repair of buildings. There is also the Direct Farm Operating Loans. This particular financing can be used to purchase operating items such as seeds, feeds and chemicals and farm equipment among others. Both loan programs have a maximum loan amount of $300,000. A farmer can avail of the 100 percent financing for the farm.
The USDA also has a loan product called Targeted Agricultural Financing. These loan funds are reserved for the USDA’s mission to help, nurture and assist traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers. The FSA provides the financing for those farmers who fall under such category.
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USDA Microloan Program
The FSA also offers farm microloans. The farmer or rancher can get up to $50,000 maximum loan. There is no minimum loan amount for this financing and it can be availed by non-traditional and beginner farmers and ranchers. Truck farmers and niche farmers can take advantage of this FSA farming financing.
Commercial Sources of Financing
Commercial Banks and lending institutions also provide wide resource options for agricultural financing. Large banks offer a varied portfolio for farming loans. Local banks know the local agrimarket very well providing competitive loans to farmers and ranchers.
Products vary, from emergency loans to long-term farm mortgage loans. These banks and private lenders may offer agricultural loans with competitive interest rates, and terms. The rates may depend on the market prime rate and the farmer’s eligibility.
For an agricultural business to grow, it needs capital.
Agricultural financing provides access to the much-needed capital to continue the operation of farms and ranches. A good capital ensures that our farmers and ranchers continue to bring food to many American tables.
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