U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced Aug. 17 that the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program, which provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities, will now include dairy, flowers and meats as eligible commodities.
“For 15 years, this program has provided affordable financing, allowing American farmers and ranchers to construct or expand storage on the farm,” said Dolcini. “By adding eligible commodities, these low-interest loans will help even more family farmers and ranchers to expand on-site storage.”
The new commodities eligible for facility loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Commodities already eligible for the loans 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, and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities.
Since 2000, more than 35,000 facility loans have been approved totaling $2 billion in rural investments. On average, about 1,600 new loans are made each year. 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 the Vernon County FSA office, 220 Airport Road, Viroqua.