USDA offers new loans for portable farm storage and handling equipment

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets.

The new “microloan” option allows applicants seeking less than $50,000 to qualify for a reduced down payment of five percent and no requirement to provide three years of production history. Farms of all sizes are eligible. However, the microloan option is expected to be of particular benefit to smaller farms, and specialty crop producers who may not have access to commercial storage or on-farm storage after harvest. These producers can invest in equipment like conveyers, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store commodities before delivering them to market. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.

Earlier this year, FSA significantly expanded the list of commodities eligible for Farm Storage Facility Loans. Eligible commodities now include aquaculture, floriculture, fruits (including nuts) and vegetables, corn, grain sorghum, rice, oilseeds, oats, wheat, triticale, spelt, buckwheat, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas sugar, peanuts, barley, rye, hay, honey, hops, maple sap, unprocessed meat and poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and renewable biomass. Microloans can also be used to finance washing and packing equipment used post-harvest, before a commodity is placed in cold storage.

To learn more about Farm Storage Facility Loans, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport, or contact the Rock County FSA Office.

For more information on FSA programs, please visit the Rock County FSA Office, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation, or give us a call at 507-283-2369. 

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