Tower Lending: AgAmerica’s First Foray into the Rural Infrastructure Sector

Tower Lending: AgAmerica’s First Foray into the Rural Infrastructure Sector

Overall, 59% of farm operators use smartphones. But among farmers under the age of 45, their smartphone usage increases to 91%. One thing is clear: data usage is steeply growing and tower erectors will need flexible funding to keep the pace.

Due to the niche nature of the cellular tower industry, there are few bridge lenders in the market that serve growing mid-tier cell tower developers (less than $1MM Tower Cash Flow). Conventional lenders to the industry often have restrictions on lending territories and borrower debt/covenants, and industry exposure limits. As a result, cell tower developers have typically had to rely on more expensive private equity raises to find their portfolio development.

AgAmerica Lending uniquely understands the mid-tier tower market, having originated more than $24MM in loans since 2013. Our lending portfolio is collateralized by more than 65 towers with over 85 tenants.

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Fifth-Generation South Carolina Farmer Recovers From Years Of Adverse Farming Weather With $1.7MM Loan

Fifth-Generation South Carolina Farmer Recovers From Years Of Adverse Farming Weather With $1.7MM Loan

Like with most South Carolina farms, our borrower was able to sell crops at a premium due to the area’s massive grain deficit levels. The Carolinas have an incredible animal feed and soybean demand as the area is host to many of the nation’s largest protein producers, including Tyson, Perdue, and Cargill. Because the area does not produce enough grain to offset this demand, end users must often go to the Midwest to buy for their needs. The high freight cost to ship grains into the Carolinas from the Midwest creates a competitive advantage for local growers.

However, after several years of extreme weather conditions, this South Carolina farmer was facing strong local demand for soybeans, yet he could not deliver. Of the 400 acres of soybeans slated for planting, almost 200 were left unplanted when heavy rains and flood waters over-saturated the soil. The operator recalls these years as the wettest he could remember in all his years of farming.

When issues with crop insurance pay-outs arose, the borrower turned to AgAmerica for a debt consolidation package. A $1.7MM loan package helped the borrower save over $116K annually and he is now back on the road to financial recovery.

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North Carolina Row Crop Farmer Transitions From Tobacco & Cotton To Sweet Potatoes With $900k Loan

North Carolina Row Crop Farmer Transitions From Tobacco & Cotton To Sweet Potatoes With $900k Loan

This farm’s legacy dates back to the 1800’s; the borrower is the sixth generation to farm the family land. Key to the family’s success has been their ability to adapt to fluctuating market conditions. When an extremely hot summer followed by heavy rainfall devastated their tobacco and cotton crops, the combination of unforeseen weather and low commodity prices left the family in need of operating capital and a flexible payment structure.

Because of poor cotton prices and the high expenses and risk associated with growing tobacco, they are planning to grow sweet potatoes for the first time this year. They plan on growing approximately 125+ acres of sweet potatoes irrigated by ponds on the family property.

AgAmerica responded by building a $900K loan package that would allow the family to make the transition to this heartier crop – sweet potatoes. With these strategic and operational shifts, the farm is expected to return to profitability and begin recovering from these past few rough years.

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Husband And Wife Purchase Late Grandparents’ Cattle Ranch & Alabama Home

Husband And Wife Purchase Late Grandparents’ Cattle Ranch & Alabama Home

The borrower was raised by his grandparents on the same cattle ranch that he planned to purchase. Realizing that his true life’s passion was agriculture, the borrower decided to purchase his grandparents’ rural home and property to raise his family and a herd of cattle all his own.

The property consists of 150 acres of high quality pasture with three ponds and barns. Currently there are 15 brood cows and one Angus bull on the land. With the $300K loan from AgAmerica, he plans to expand the cattle program to 100 head within the next 10 years.

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North Carolina Angus Cattle Rancher Consolidates Debt & Improves Operational Flexibility

North Carolina Angus Cattle Rancher Consolidates Debt & Improves Operational Flexibility

This North Carolina borrower learned to farm alongside his dad. He’s worked the same land his entire life and knows the challenges of the cattle business well. He consistently monitors market conditions, futures, and improvements in genetics, while working to get the best out of his forage. Today he runs almost 150 Angus cattle on his 250 acres, and plants 40 acres of corn or beans annually, using it mostly for feed. Without an operating line in place however, this rancher relied primarily on high-interest rate credit cards to purchase feed, gas, and supplies.

The recent conversion of his father’s corn and tobacco farm to a predominantly cattle-focused operation encouraged this borrower to seek a total debt consolidation package from AgAmerica. He wanted to pay off business credit card and tractor debt, plus prepare for the purchase of additional acreage in the future.

By combining a 10-year interest-only line of credit with a term loan, AgAmerica was able to build a unique “2-pack” loan bundle with a lower interest rate and extended amortization period. The rancher can utilize this line of credit for any operational expense, dramatically improving his cash flow and financial flexibility.

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South Carolina Corn Farmers Refinance After Severe Flooding Mars The Region

South Carolina Corn Farmers Refinance After Severe Flooding Mars The Region

This pair of South Carolina farming clients have been friends and business partners since 2012 when they started a farm together. Their farm produces corn, timber and sod. The business partners lease out part of their acreage to national sod-growing companies to gain additional income.

After a series of unexpected storms and flooding wreaked havoc on this South Carolina corn farm, the operators knew it was time to make some changes. They needed to refinance with more favorable loan terms to help them recover from the natural disaster.

AgAmerica developed a refinance plan, reducing their annual interest expense by 20%, and over $20,000 annually. This gave the borrowers the financial flexibility to bounce back and continue expanding their operation.

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North Carolina Tobacco Farmer Uses 10-Year Line Of Credit To Prepare For The Next Generation

North Carolina Tobacco Farmer Uses 10-Year Line Of Credit To Prepare For The Next Generation

Tobacco has been the backbone of the agricultural industry in North Carolina for centuries; in fact, North Carolina ranks first in the US for tobacco production. Our borrower has been farming his entire life. He grew up farming tobacco and swine with his father and knows the ins and outs of making a good crop. Along with his son, the duo approached AgAmerica to consolidate debt and refinance an existing mortgage, giving them greater payment flexibility. Additionally, they sought a revolving line of credit for operating capital and to add a center pivot to irrigate the farm land.

AgAmerica’s 10-year interest only line of credit was combined with a term loan to create a “two pack” loan solution. The borrowers are now able to purchase and plant over 140 acres of tobacco annually. With their custom loan package to support the operation and each acre yielding around 2,100 pounds of tobacco, this farm is well prepared to make the transition to the next generation.

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Louisiana Sweet Potato Operation Refinances With $1MM Loan Package

Louisiana Sweet Potato Operation Refinances With $1MM Loan Package

This operator originally purchased farmland in Louisiana by securing short-term financing in an effort to close the real estate deal by the seller’s deadline. After a year of production, our borrower wanted to refinance his land with a traditional agricultural loan instead, and to obtain additional cash out for purchasing farm equipment and supplies for the new property.

After consulting with AgAmerica’s land loan team, this farmer was fit with a custom $1MM loan package that would fit his operation’s needs. He can now better supply sweet potatoes to customers in the US, Canada, and Europe.

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Georgia pecan growers plan for $5MM expansion

Georgia pecan growers plan for $5MM expansion

This diversified family farm operation began in the 1930’s with 100 acres and has since grown to over 5,000 acres today. They run a vertically integrated pecan operation – growing, cleaning, and bagging their own pecans as well as for other local pecan farmers.

To keep their crop portfolio diversified, these Georgia-based operators also farm hundreds of acres of sweet corn, peanuts, and soybeans. Their row crop land is intensively managed, irrigated with center pivots and drip irrigation.

The family wanted an operating line of credit for future land purchases. AgAmerica’s 10-year interest-only line of credit set the family up for future growth and a decade of financial flexibility.

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Financing a $1.8MM Sweet Potato Farm Expansion

Financing a $1.8MM Sweet Potato Farm Expansion

As early as the 1940’s this farm family realized the potential for sweet potatoes as profitable crops, and made the vegetable the focus of their ag operation. For three generations, these North Carolina borrowers have been growing, packing, and shipping their delicious sweet potatoes across the U.S.A. and abroad. Historically, the family has farmed 10,000-12,000 acres and produced over 3 million bushels annually – but they dreamt of expanding even further.

That’s when the family approached AgAmerica. Wanting to build a large, new storage facility, they needed the right financing to make it happen. In addition, the demand for sweet potatoes was continuing to increase, and access to working capital would prove increasingly important.

AgAmerica Lending built a custom $1.8MM loan package to suit their needs and jump-start their expansion, matching them with our industry-unique, 10-year revolving line of credit which will help effectively manage future growth and inventory levels.

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