Hoeven: USDA Makes Additional Funding Available to Support Up to $185 Million in Farm Operating Loans, Loan Guarantees

Senator Urged USDA Secretary in July to Replenish FSA Loan Programs

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will make additional funding available to leverage up to $185 million in additional lending for direct and guaranteed farm operation loans. Hoeven wrote to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in July, urging the agency to replenish the loan programs to ensure that the nation’s agriculture producers have access to necessary credit during the current period of low commodity prices.

“These FSA loan programs exist to help our farmers and ranchers weather low prices and keep their operations going,” Hoeven said. “When the programs faced a shortfall due to the rapid increase in demand for loans, we worked with USDA and our colleagues in the Agriculture Committees of both chambers to reprogram FSA funding to open up more loan authority. This means our ag producers will have access to more capital to get them through these tough times.”

Due to low commodity prices and cash flow issues, farmers across the nation have been increasingly relying on the FSA loan programs for temporary assistance, which were then facing a shortfall in loan authority. The additional funding announced today will help ensure that farmers have access to the capital they need to continue their operations.

To this same end, Hoeven and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have introduced the Capital for Farmers and Ranchers Act, legislation that increases the maximum loan amount that an individual farmer or rancher is able to receive under the FSA’s loan and loan guarantee programs. Specifically, it increases the FSA loan guarantee amount to cover up to $2.5 million, up from $1.39 million, and doubles the amount on Direct Operating and Direct Farm Ownership Loans from $300,000 to $600,000.