Some fields -- especially in southern Illinois -- have already
been classified a 100 percent crop loss. The consequences of the
drought will echo from the grain farmers to much of the Illinois
agriculture industry. Livestock growers are being hit with
reduced feed availability and higher feed costs. Virtually
everyone involved in producing, using or handling grain will be
In response to these drought conditions and their effect on
Illinois farm families, Farm Credit Services of Illinois is
announcing plans during Tuesday's Agriculture Day at the
Illinois State Fair to implement drought relief assistance
programs for the cooperative's stockholders. The association
serves more than 8,500 farm families based in the southern 60
counties of Illinois.
"While we can't make it rain or restore a lost crop, Farm
Credit is committed to always being there to support our
owners," says Dave Owens, president and CEO of Farm Credit
Services of Illinois.
The relief program initiatives include an interest-free
period -- for up to $100,000 of the loan balance on existing
operating loans -- during the traditional harvest months of
September, October and November. This program will be
automatically applied to eligible operating loans as of Sept. 1.
All interest charges on up to $100,000 of the loan balance
through Nov. 30 will be credited back to the borrower.
Farm Credit is also offering to restructure existing loans to
defer current payments for farmers experiencing unexpected
cash-flow challenges as a result of the drought conditions.
Additionally, Farm Credit will proactively work with individual
borrowers to consider the opportunity of locking in historically
low long-term interest rates.
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"As a cooperative business, our overriding concern is for the
financial viability of our customer stockholders. Although many
grain farmers manage these weather-related risks through crop
insurance, there will still be some financial impact and possible
cash-flow challenges," Owens said. "We hope these relief programs
provide a bit of respite from the sobering realities of the drought
and heat-stress damage in the fields. Farm Credit is genuinely
mindful of both the economic and emotional struggle farmers are
facing this year. Our commitment is to stand with them during both
the prosperous and the challenging times in agriculture."
Farm Credit hosted 12 different "Drought Discussion"
informational meetings for farmers throughout central and southern
Illinois in July and early August. More than 1,000 farmers
participated in these meetings, which each featured a crop insurance
industry expert who explained the processes and proper procedures
for submitting and receiving crop insurance claims.
Farm Credit Services of Illinois is a farmer-owned and directed
agricultural lending cooperative that serves 8,500 farm families,
agribusinesses and rural landowners in the southern 60 counties of
Illinois with competitive and flexible financing and crop insurance
expertise. The association manages a $3 billion loan portfolio and
sells 1.8 million acres of crop insurance coverage. The mission of
the U.S. Farm Credit System is to be a reliable provider of
financial capital and financial services to agriculture and rural
news release from Farm Credit Services