Having a grain bin is a benefit to farmers because grain can be stored on the farm during harvest instead of spending extra hours traveling during the harvest and accepting lower prices at harvest time.

Furthermore, FSA has a marketing assistance loan (MAL) where farmers can obtain a loan on the commodity stored in the grain bin. MALs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, feed grains, soybeans, and other oilseeds, pulse crops, rice, peanuts, cotton, 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. If you are thinking about building on-farm grain storage, contact our office at 270-684-9286 ext. 2. The current interest rate for 7-year loans under the FSFL program is 1.75%.

FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks.

The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities.

Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities.

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security.

Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers.

To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport or contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Sign up ends Feb. 28The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is Feb. 28 while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC) Safety Net ProgramSignup for the 2019 ARC/PLC Program closes March 15, 2020, while signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. Some farmers have delayed signing up in anticipation of USDA reports of production and price; however, FSA encourages producers to make an election decision as soon as possible to avoid long waits near the March 15, 2020 deadline.

Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. 2020 PLC yield updates must be completed by Sept. 30.

Holiday closure

The Owensboro USDA Service Center will be closed Jan. 20 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

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