This farming, packing, and shipping operation began four generations ago and was built on the land and traditions of a south Georgia family. Today the family packs, markets, and ships approximately 1,000 acres of Vidalia onions, 700 acres of sweet corn, 1,000 acres of sweet potatoes, 100 acres of cabbage, and 300 acres of watermelons. Their operation’s location and soil is perfectly suited for growing Vidalia sweet onions but the operators claim that the soil makes their other produce sweeter as well.
By diversifying production to include many types of produce, the growers are able to operate year-round and produce high-quality fruit and vegetables. Their crop rotation has been a large key to their success. As soon as the last bin of onions is shipped, their storage bins begin to fill with sweet potatoes.
The business challenge: diversifying production mitigates risk when it pertains to commodity prices and unforeseen contingencies, but it can also be costly. The operators were paying an interest rate well above 5.5% to another lender. AgAmerica Lending was able to refinance the $4.8MM note with a “two-pack” loan solution that combined a term loan with a line of credit. By custom building this package, the borrowers reduced their annual payment by over $111,000, saving 18% annually.
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