The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill which included Sen. Herb Kohl's proposal to add funding for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs. Low prices in the farm sector and a generally tight credit market have increased demand for FSA loans and these programs are expected to run out of funds in couple of months. The FSA loan programs provide critical assistance to credit worthy borrowers which can be used for operating expenses, to refinance existing debt and for land purchase. The bill includes $31.5 million for farm operating and ownership loans, which supports an additional $1 billion in lending authority for the FSA.
"The farm economy is struggling to recover from low prices and the overall poor economy, and a tight credit market has made the problems worse. Demand for USDA farm credit is much higher now than it was this time last year and it is expected that funds will run out in the next couple of months. Without adequate credit, farmers are at risk of losing their farms at the worst possible time. This assistance will give farmers the help they need to continue operation and prosper in these tough times," Kohl said.
Kohl is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations panel and has continued to work for the agriculture industry and local farmers by including farm credit provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress passed last year. Additionally, Senator Kohl introduced legislation in April that extends farm credit for thousands of farmers and ranchers and has fought to extend and improve the expiring Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program in the 2008 Farm Bill