Direct farm operating loans can be used to purchase livestock
and feed, farm equipment, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and
other costs including family living expenses. Operating loans
can also be used to finance minor improvements or repairs to
buildings and to refinance some farm-related debts, excluding
Direct farm ownership loans can be used to purchase farmland,
enlarge an existing farm, construct and repair buildings, and to
make farm improvements.
The maximum loan amount for both direct farm ownership and
operating loans is $300,000 and a down payment is not required.
Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan, collateral
and the producer's ability to repay the loan. Operating loans
are normally repaid within seven years and farm ownership loans
are not to exceed 40 years.
Please contact your local County FSA office for more information
or to apply for a direct farm ownership or operating loan.
USDA Climate Hub Building Block: Conservation of Sensitive
USDA Climate Hubs are working with producers, ranchers, pasture
and forest landowners to effectively partner in ways to help
reduce climate change. To aid in this partnership, USDA
established the 10 Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture
One such Building Block is the “Conservation of Sensitive
Lands”. The term “sensitive lands” denotes soils and landscapes
that are valuable due to properties (e.g., high organic matter,
wet hydrology) and/or function (e.g., wildlife habitat,
filtration, and hydrologic storage). Typical examples of these
soils are organic rich histosols, floodplains, or wetlands along
riparian areas. Properties and functions of these soils are
easily disrupted from agricultural or urban land use.
Sensitive lands that are used for agricultural production can be
protected by changes in land use (long-term cover). This
reduction in land use intensity can provide multiple
environmental benefits, including substantial GHG mitigation
that occurs as carbon is sequestered or preserved in soils and
vegetation. When land is removed from crop production, several
activities—including tillage, nitrogen fertilization, and energy
use—are substantially reduced or eliminated, generating
additional GHG mitigation.
FSA and NRCS are committed to identifying these sensitive lands
and encouraging landowners, farmers, and ranchers to voluntarily
adopt conservation systems--using financial and technical
assistance--to generate GHG benefits. To read more about
Conservation of Sensitive Lands, click the following link:
For more information about the USDA Climate Hubs click here:
Maintaining the Quality of Loaned Grain
Bins are ideally designed to hold a level volume of grain. When
bins are overfilled and grain is heaped up, airflow is hindered
and the chance of spoilage increases.
Producers who take out marketing assistance loans and use the
farm-stored grain as collateral should remember that they are
responsible for maintaining the quality of the grain through the
term of the loan.
Guaranteed Loan Program
FSA guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural
credit to farmers who do not meet the lender's normal
underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a
guaranteed loan through a lender, and the lender arranges for
the guarantee. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of
principal and interest on a loan. Guaranteed loans can be used
for both farm ownership and operating purposes.
Guaranteed farm ownership loans can be used to purchase
farmland, construct or repair buildings, develop farmland to
promote soil and water conservation or to refinance debt.
Guaranteed operating loans can be used to purchase livestock,
farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and
other operating expenses.
FSA can guarantee farm ownership and operating loans up to
$1,399,000. Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan,
collateral and the producer's ability to repay the loan.
Operating loans are normally repaid within seven years and farm
ownership loans are not to exceed 40 years.
Please contact your lender or local County FSA farm loan office
for more information on guaranteed loans.
Unauthorized Disposition of Grain
If loan grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or
any other form of disposal without prior written authorization
from the county office staff, it is considered unauthorized
disposition and a violation of the terms and conditions of the
Note and Security Agreement. The financial penalties for
unauthorized dispositions are severe and a producer’s name will
be placed on a loan violation list for a two-year period. Always
call before you haul any grain under loan. If you have questions
concerning the movement of grain under loan, please contact your
local county FSA office.
USDA Extends Margin Protection Program for Dairy Enrollment
USDA announced that it will extend the deadline for dairy
producers to enroll in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for
Dairy to Dec. 16, 2016, from the previous deadline of Sept. 30.
This voluntary dairy safety net program, established by the 2014
Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy
producers when the margin – the difference between the price of
milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by
the producer. A USDA web tool, available at
www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy producers to
calculate levels of coverage available from MPP based on price
Flowing grain in a storage bin or gravity-flow wagon is like
quicksand — it can kill quickly. It takes less than five seconds
for a person caught in flowing grain to be trapped.
The mechanical operation of grain handling equipment also
presents a real danger. Augers, power take offs, and other
moving parts can grab people or clothing.
These hazards, along with pinch points and missing shields, are
dangerous enough for adults; not to mention children. It is
always advisable to keep children a safe distance from operating
farm equipment. Always use extra caution when backing or
maneuvering farm machinery. Ensure everyone is visibly clear and
accounted for before machinery is engaged.
FSA wants all farmers to have a productive crop year and that
begins with putting safety first.
USDA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling
Portable Equipment Can Help Producers, including Small-Scale and
Local Farmers, Get Products to Market Quickly
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide a new financing
option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling
equipment through the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program.
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 FSFL program allows producers of eligible
commodities to obtain low-interest financing to build or upgrade
farm storage and handling facilities.
The program also offers a new “microloan” option, which 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 with CCC providing a loan for the
remaining 95 percent of the net cost of the eligible FSFL
equipment. Farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible. The
microloan option is expected to be of particular benefit to
smaller farms and ranches, 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 markets. FSFL microloans
can also be used to finance wash and pack equipment used
post-harvest, before a commodity is placed in cold storage.
Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial
credit availability to apply for FSFL’s.
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Larger farming and ranching operations, that may not be able to
participate in the new “microloan” option, may apply for the
traditional, larger FSFL’s with the maximum principal amount for
each loan through FSFL of $500,000.00. Participants are required
to provide a down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a
loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the
eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling
equipment. Additional security is required for poured-cement
open-bunker silos, renewable biomass facilities, cold storage
facilities, hay barns and for all loans exceeding $100,000.00.
FSFL loan terms of 3, 5, 7, 10 or 12 years are available
depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each
term rate may be different and are based on the rate which CCC
borrows from the Treasury Department.
Earlier this year, FSA significantly expanded the list of
commodities eligible for FSFL. 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,barley, rye, hay, honey, hops, maple sap, unprocessed meat
and poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and renewable
Applications for FSFL must be submitted to the FSA county office
that maintains the farm's records.
A FSFL must be approved before any site preparation or
construction can begin.
To learn more about Farm Storage Facility Loans, visit
www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport or contact a local FSA county
office. To find your local FSA county office, visit
Guaranteed Conservation Loans
Guaranteed Conservation Loans are available for applicants to
install a conservation practice. These funds may be used for any
conservation activities included in a conservation plan or
Forest Stewardship Management plan. A copy of the conservation
plan is required to complete the application. These loans are
not limited to just family farmers. In some cases, applicants
can operate non-eligible enterprises. Loan funds are issued by a
participating commercial lender and guaranteed up to 80 percent
by FSA or up to 90 percent for beginning and historically
Marketing Assistance Available for 2016 Wheat, Other Crops
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized 2014-2018 crop year Marketing
Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs).
MALs and LDPs provide financing and marketing assistance for
2016 crop wheat, and other commodities such as feed grains,
soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, wool and honey. MALs
provide producers interim financing after harvest to help them
meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities
when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows.
Illinois FSA county offices are now accepting requests for 2016
crop wheat, oats, barley and honey MALs and LDPs for eligible
commodities after harvest. As 2016 crop harvest begins, Illinois
FSA county offices are accepting requests for 2016 fall
harvested crops; corn and soybeans.
A producer who is eligible to obtain an MAL, but agrees to forgo
the loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.
In Illinois Hard Red Winter (HRW) prices are below the HRW wheat
marketing assistance loan amount and LDPs may are applicable for
HRW. Producers should become familiar with the process to access
and request LDP assistance.
To be eligible for an MAL or an LDP, producers must have a
beneficial interest in the commodity, in addition to other
requirements. A producer retains beneficial interest when
control of and title to the commodity is maintained. For an LDP,
the producer must retain beneficial interest in the commodity
from the time of planting through the date the producer filed
Form CCC-633EZ (page 1) in the FSA County Office. For more
information, producers should contact their local FSA county
office or view the LDP Fact Sheet.
September Interest Rates and Important Dates to Remember
Illinois Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711
Phone:217-241-6600 ext. 2
State Executive Director:
Scherrie V. Giamanco
To find contact information for your local office go to
is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a
complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400
Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866)
632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or
Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).