USDA Announces Changes to Farm Loan Programs

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced increased opportunity for producers resulting from the 2014 Farm Bill with the release of information on modifications to farm loan programs. Secretary Vilsack says the nation's farmers and ranchers are the engine of the rural economy. He says these improvements to USDA Farm Loan Programs will help a new generation begin farming and growing existing farm operations. Vilsack notes this is just one part of a series of investments the new farm bill makes in the next generation of agriculture - which he says is critical to economic growth in communities across the country. Changes that will take effect immediately include - elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans; modification of the definition of beginning farmer - using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size; modification of the Joint Financing Direct Farm Ownership Interest Rate to two-percent less than regular Direct Farm Ownership rate - with a floor of 2.5-percent; and increase of the guarantee amount on Conservation Loans from 75 to 80-percent and 90-percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers. For more information - visit the Farm Service Agency website at www dot fsa dot usda dot gov (www.fsa.usda.gov).

National Farmers Union commended Secretary Vilsack for implementing these farm bill provisions in a timely manner to help support the next generation of family farmers and ranchers.

[The fact sheet outlining modifications to USDA's FSA Farm Loan Programs is available here: http://www.usda.gov/documents/2014-farm-bill-changes-to-flp.pdf]

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