Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
A new financing option to purchase portable storage and handling equipment is now available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA). This program is aimed at new, small and mid-sized producers to help them grow their businesses and markets, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The program features a smaller microloan option with lower down payments and also offers a new microloan option to applicants seeking less than $50,000 to qualify for a reduced down payment of 5 percent and no requirement to provide three years of production history, said Dr. English. Farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible.
The microloan option can benefit 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 conveyers, scales, or refrigeration units and trucks that can store produce before delivering it to market.
Also, the list of commodities eligible for the farm storage facility loan has been expanded, said Dr. English. Some of the items now included are floriculture, fruits and vegetables, corn, grain sorghum, rice, oats, wheat, chickpeas, peanuts, hay, honey, hops unprocessed meat and poultry, eggs, milk and cheese.
For more information, contact your local FSA county office.