Farm storage facility loan program expanded to help fruit and vegetable growers

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences1360536_91902532

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Twenty-two new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers are now included in the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFLP), which provides low-interest financing to producers.

“Low-interest loans can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store fruits and vegetables, grains, peanuts and hay,” said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.

Some examples of fruit and vegetable equipment in qualified facilities now loan eligible include sorting bins or tables, wash stations, baggers, bulk bin tippers, fruit and vegetable hoppers, hydrocoolers, ice machines, refrigeration units, roller spray units, fruit and vegetable conveyors, and food safety related equipment for sanitizing or pre-washing filter tanks, and electrical equipment or lighting, motors and wiring.

Loan security requirements have also been eased for loans up to $100,000, said Dr. English. Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by only a promissory/security agreement, and some loans between $50,000 and $100,000 no longer require additional security.

For more information on the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program, contact your local Farm Service Agency office. For assistance with loan applications, contact Arlanda Jacobs, Extension associate at (870) 714-5531 or aj72342@gmail.com – Phillips, Lee, Monroe, St. Francis, Crittenden, Cross and Arkansas counties or Stephan Walker, multi-county agent, at (870) 575-7237 or walkers@uapb.edu – Jefferson, Lincoln, Desha, Drew, Chicot, Lonoke and Pulaski counties. Those elsewhere can call the UAPB Small Farm Office at (870) 575-7246.

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