Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Already popular with growers, microloans now have a new financing option to make purchasing portable storage and handling equipment easier.
Microloans now come with the option of a lower down payment to help new, small and mid-sized producers grow their businesses and markets, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).
Applicants seeking less than $50,000 can qualify for a reduced down payment of five percent with no requirement to provide three years of production history. And farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible.
“This option will especially benefit smaller farmers and ranchers and specialty crop producers who may not have access to commercial refrigeration and trucks to store commodities before delivering them to markets,” said Dr. English. And, producers do not have to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.
Earlier this year, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) expanded the list of commodities eligible for a Farm Storage Facility Loan. Microloans can also be used to finance wash and pack equipment used post-harvest before a commodity is placed in cold storage, said Dr. English.
For more information on using microloans to finance storage and handling equipment, check the website www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport, or contact your FSA loan officer.