FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers for the construction or upgrading of storage facilities. The FSFL program provides affordable financing, allowing farmers and producers to build or expand on-farm storage. The current terms and rates available for August are: 3 or 5 years at 1.75% interest, 7 years at 1.875%, 10 years at 2.0% or 12 years at 2.125%.

The products eligible for the FSFL program include corn, sorghum, soybeans, oats, wheat, barley, minor oil seeds harvested as whole grains, other cereals (triticale, spelled and buckwheat); hay, honey and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold stores. New products eligible for setup loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs and aquaculture (at l. ‘exclusion of systems which keep animals alive by absorption and release of water).

These loans must be approved by the local state or county FSA committee before site preparation and / or construction can begin. All loan requests are subject to an environmental assessment. Accepting delivery of equipment, starting any site preparation or construction before loan approval, may hinder the successful completion of an environmental assessment and may affect loan eligibility.

The program also offers a new “microloan” option, which allows applicants seeking less than $ 50,000 to qualify for a reduced five percent down payment and no requirement to provide three years of production history. Farms of all sizes are eligible. The microcredit option is expected to be particularly beneficial for small farms and producers of specialty crops who may not have access to commercial or on-farm storage after harvest. These producers can invest in equipment such as conveyors, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store produce before it is delivered to markets. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of availability of trade credit to apply. Agricultural loans available for entry-level and targeted underserved producers

The FSA has funding to help start-up farmers and members of underserved target groups finance farm businesses. Under these designated agricultural loan programs, FSA can provide financing to eligible applicants through direct or guaranteed loans.

FSA defines a beginning farmer as a person who:

• Has operated a farm for no more than 10 years;

• Participate materially and substantially in the operation of the farm;

• Agrees to participate in an FSA sponsored loan assessment, borrower education and financial management program;

• Does not own a farm exceeding 30 percent of the average farm size in the county; and

• In addition, the applicant must meet the loan eligibility requirements of the program to which he is applying.

Targeted underserved applicants are part of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender bias because of their identity as a member of the group, regardless of their individual qualities. The underserved groups targeted are women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Some FSA loan funds are aimed at beginning farmers and underserved groups.

Note: All direct farm property loan applicants must have been involved in the commercial operation of a farm for at least three years.

Uninsured Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program

The FSA reminds producers interested in the Uninsured Agricultural Disaster Assistance (NAP) 2020 Program of the need to apply for coverage before the following harvest deadlines.

• November 20, 2019 is the deadline for NAP 2020 coverage on apples, asparagus, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, chestnuts, forage for hay and pasture, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, honey, maple sap and hops. NOTE: Hops are a perennial crop and the application deadline has been moved from spring to fall for coverage.

• March 15, 2020 is the deadline for NAP 2020 coverage on feed sorghum, oats, potatoes, soybeans, sunflowers and all special crops planted in spring and intended for food.

The 2018 Farm Bill restores higher coverage levels, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, to 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organic products and crops marketed directly to consumers can also exercise the “buy” option to achieve PAN coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at coverage levels between 50 and 65 percent. of the expected production. Basic PAN coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.

For all levels of coverage, the new NAP service charge is the lesser of $ 325 per crop or $ 825 per grower per county, not to exceed a total of $ 1,950 for a grower with farming interests in multiple counties. These amounts reflect a service charge increase of $ 75 for crop, county, or multi-county coverage. The fee increases apply to obtaining NAP coverage on crops as of April 8, 2019. Eligible growers can apply for NAP 2020 coverage at their local FSA office using form CCC-471, Application cover.

To help growers learn more about the NAP program and how it can help them, the USDA offers an online web tool at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap. The web-based tool allows producers to determine if their crops qualify for coverage and gives producers the opportunity to explore a variety of options and levels to determine the best level of protection for their operation.

For more information on NAP coverage or to obtain coverage, please contact your FSA county office. The 2020 registration deadline for the Dairy Margin Coverage program is December 13

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds dairy farmers that the deadline to register for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for 2020 is December 13, 2019.

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the program provides reasonably priced protection to dairy farmers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain amount chosen by the producer. .

As the 2020 registration period draws to a close, the FSA estimates payments to producers who have registered for coverage for the 2019 crop year at over $ 257.7 million.

At the time of registration, dairy farmers can choose between coverage levels of $ 4.00 to $ 9.50.

DMC offers catastrophic coverage at no cost to the producer, other than an annual administration fee of $ 100. Producers can opt for higher levels of coverage at a premium in addition to administrative costs. Farms owned by resource-constrained, novice, socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers may be eligible for an administrative fee waiver.

Producers who have locked coverage in the 2019 registration must certify that the farm produces and markets milk and pay the annual administrative fee during the 2020 registration period.

To help growers make coverage choices, USDA has partnered with the University of Wisconsin to develop a DMC Decision Support Tool, which can be used to assess various scenarios using different levels of coverage. via DMC.

– Marie Marty is the County Executive Director of the Ashland County Farm Service Agency. She can be reached at 419-289-6951.