Farms have options and deadlines in Risk Management programs at the Farm Service Agency

Farms with crop production need to be aware of enrollment deadlines for crop insurance programs or risk losses may not be covered under USDA Farm Service Agency Disaster and Crop Loss Programs.

After spending most of the summer under drought conditions, your farm may now be faced with crop production losses that will allow you to participate in theUSDA Farm Service Agency Emergency (FSA) – Disaster Loan program. There is much confusion concerning which program is currently in place, the rules from 2008- 2012, or something new floating through congress in Washington. One point is clear – several programs on the books require farms to enroll crops in CAT (Catastrophic Risk Protection) or NAP (Noninsured Crop Disaster Program).

In a press release from FSA entitled "Emergency Loan Program", the USDA-FSA provides emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to various natural disasters. These loans may be used to restore and/or replace essential property, pay production costs associated with the disaster year, reorganize the farming operation, or refinance certain debts. Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses to a maximum amount of $500,000. The current annual interest rate for emergency loans is 2.25 percent, and applications must be received within 8 months of the county’s disaster designation date. PLEASE NOTE: Specific eligibility requirements apply to an Emergency Loan, including collateral. FSA loan requirements are different from those of other lenders, and the loan repayment terms may vary depending on the loan’s purpose. For additional details and information you can visit FSA’s website.

Farm producers who have suffered losses for 2012 either in their row crop production or in hay/pasture could be eligible to secure financial assistance. Some farms in Michigan may want to tap into the some of the resource tools or request direct assistance that is available through Michigan State University Extension  District Farm Management Educators who can be located by selecting the Find an Expert tab that is located at the bottom of the MSU Extension front page on the web.

We have a group of extension educators who are willing and able to work with farms putting together the financial information package necessary to secure a disaster loans. Tools that can be helpful in building your farm’s financial cash-flow projection or balance sheet can be found at my website.

The MSU Extension team is working to pull together resources and tools that will help Michigan farms transition through these rather difficult times.

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