USDA is now allowing higher limits on the department's various farm loans following a change in the 2018 farm bill.
The farm bill raised the amount that farmers and ranchers can borrow through direct and guaranteed loans available through the Farm Service Agency.
Direct Operating Loan limits were raised from $300,000 to $400,000. The Guaranteed Operating Loan limit was raised from $1.429 million to $1.75 million as well. The loans can be used for machinery, equipment, seed, livestock feed and other inputs.
The Direct Farm Ownership Loan was increased from $300,000 to $600,000 and the Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loan limit was increased from $1.429 million to $1.75 million. The loans can be used for new farm or ranch ownership or to expand current farms and ranches.
Under microloans, producers can now receive both a $50,000 Farm Ownership Microloan and a $50,000 Operating Microloan. Prior to now, the combined cap was $50,000.
Farmers and ranchers who had previously received debt forgiveness under an approved FSA restructuring plan can now apply for emergency loans as well.
“As natural disasters, trade disruptions, and persistent pressure on commodity prices continue to impact agricultural operations, farm loans become increasingly important to farmers and ranchers,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “The 2018 Farm Bill provides increased loan limits and more flexibility to farm loans, which gives producers more access to credit when they need it most.”
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