Good News for Florida’s Grapefruit Growers

The first two citrus crop forecasts of the 2014-2015 season, released by the USDA, leave Florida citrus growers feeling pretty good about what’s on the horizon for citrus. Production forecasts are holding strong, leaving the entire citrus industry optimistic.

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10 Perks of Bankers South’s Commercial Farm Loans

Bankers South’s AgAmerica Loans specialize in real estate loans for the agricultural community.

If you’re looking to support and finance your beginning or growing ag operation, here’s 10 reasons why you should consider our attractive farm loan options:

  1. AgAmerica Lending. Bankers South is the only ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica Conventional Real Estate Loans. The interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs.
  2. Revolving Line of Credit (with no annual “resting period”).
  3. Low interest farm loan rates. Interest rates can be as low as 2.60% depending on the loan product.
  4. No standard prepayment penalties (on early off payments).
  5. Flexible payments. Make payments monthly, semi-annually, or annually depending on what works best for your business.
  6. The best products on the market. We offer variable rate, adjustable rate and fixed rate loans with loan types ranging from 7-year terms to more traditional, 25-year fully-amortized loans.
  7. An individualized approach. Our products are specially designed to fit your financial needs and align with your business goals.
  8. No cost for initial underwriting of your farm loan application.
  9. Excellent service. As one client says, “Communication was great between our loan officer and us. We really appreciated the fact that his work hours were not limited to Monday-Friday 9-5. He went above and beyond!”
  10. Quick turnaround. One client notes, “After numerous attempts with various lending institutions, Bankers South was able to rise to the level of serving my needs with low interest rates and a quick turnaround.”

 

Bankers South is uniquely positioned to get you the most advantageous loan product. Our staff includes employees whose own farming histories stretch back generations. Bankers South also has its own experience with buying, selling, and managing agriculture land.

We know you can benefit from our experience. With understanding of complex financial structures as well as the nuances of farming, we know how to customize your ag loan to suit your agricultural operation and goals in the best way possible, at the best rate possible.

For commercial farm loans and ranch loans customized to fit your financial needs, turn to Bankers South. Let us help you grow your business! Learn more at www.bankerssouth.com. 


Pig Virus Spreads, Pork Production Down

A quick-spreading, relentless pig virus continues to impact pork production across the country.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, has been reported in 23 states (hitting Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Kansas especially hard) and also, in Canada (reporting its first case in January 2014). To date, the virus has killed pigs on 3,000 U.S. farms. Though all swine are susceptible to the virus, piglets are especially vulnerable (adult pigs typically recover). Since the first reported incident of the virus last spring in Iowa, PED has killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S., resulting in fewer hogs going to the market.

As such, hog prices are expected to go up as demand for pork rises. But of greater worry, the virus shows no evidence of tapering off. Vaccines are in the works and one has already hit the market; however, this particular vaccine is not 100% effective as it’s incapable of protecting all piglets in infected herds.

For all the pork lovers out there wondering if this will escalate bacon prices, the answer is: not yet.

Other factors influence pork prices, including feed price which, this year, is down due to the large corn harvest in 2013. Also, though 1 million piglets sounds substantial, it really is not in the grander scheme of things. A USDA report from December 2013 estimated the total U.S. swine population at 66 million. So, 1 million represents but a small percentage of the industry. Though small, these losses will greatly impact pork producers that didn’t send as many full-size hogs to the market.

Before a vaccine surfaces, pork producers are strongly encouraged to stiffen their operations, minimize contact with other farms, and limit farm visitors.

Are you in the swine industry? Is it time to start buying more hogs? Check out our AgAmerica farm loans. The low interest farm loan rates are an attractive option when it comes time to strengthen your swine operation. In fact, interest rates for these ag loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Bankers South is proud to be the only ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer these special farm loans. To learn more, visit www.bankerssouth.com. 


Bankers South Refinances Big Citrus Operation

What’s new and noteworthy at Bankers South Lending & Finance, LLC?

Recently, we funded a $800k citrus loan. By taking a global look at the borrower’s finances, we were able to save this citrus operation a substantial amount of money.

Through our unique AgAmerica Lending Program, we were able to consolidate the borrower’s current debt and reduce the operation’s annual debt service by 44%. In doing so, we saved this citrus operation over $56,000 annually! The new-found savings allowed this citrus operation to not only purchase an additional grove, but also add on a Line of Credit for 2.62%.

The AgAmerica Lending Program

Our special ag lending program boasts a variety of ag loan products, including conventional agricultural real estate loans. It’s a one of a kind program, which offers borrowers the following perks:

  • Up to 25-Year Amortizations
  • Very Low Interest Farm Loan Rates
  • Flexible Payment Plan Options
  • No Standard Prepayment Penalty
  • No Annual Renewals!

 

AgAmerica agricultural loans cover all facets of farming, from smaller blueberry farms to large cattle ranches. These ag loans are an excellent option when it comes time to plant your next row crop, expand your citrus groves, plant timber, or buy more cattle.

Yet it’s not only the low interest farm loan rates that make these loan types an attractive option. We are a company committed to getting to know all of our customers. Our staff includes employees whose own farming histories stretch back generations. In addition, we have our own experience buying, selling, and managing agriculture land. Suffice it to say, we not only offer our customers farmland financing solutions, but supportive, professional long-standing relationships as well.

Need cash to expand your citrus operation? Time to refinance a high-interest agricultural loan? To discuss your agricultural financing options, feel free to contact Bankers South at (855) 898-BANK(2265) or visit our website for more information! 


A Farmer’s Guide to Ag Financing

Understanding the ins and outs of securing farm credit can be complicated. It’s important that credit be managed as closely and as carefully as possible. Fortunately, credit options are changing and expanding, providing borrowers with more alternatives to better manage their agricultural financing.

So, how does a borrower go about evaluating farm loan options?

First,  it’s necessary to establish short-and long-term financial goals for the agricultural operation, combined with a solid plan to meet those outlined goals.

Next, to ease the process of securing a farm loan, it’s helpful to understand the language of ag lending.

To help you out, here are some must-know, introductory lending terms:

  • Short-term agricultural loans: These farm loans are commonly used to finance operating expenses. Loan maturity usually matches the duration of the agricultural production process (3 to 18 months).
  • Bridge loans: This specific type of short-term loan is used until a borrower secures permanent financing or removes an existing obligation. This type of loan allows the farmer to meet current obligations by securing quick cash flow. The loans are very short (up to one year) with relatively high interest rates and are supported by collateral, such as real estate or inventory.
  • Intermediate-term loans: These ag loans are used to fund depreciable items such as machinery, equipment, breeding livestock, and farm renovations and enhancements. What’s more, intermediate-term loans are typically used to re-work a borrower’s balance sheet to allow for additional working capital. Ag lending companies often call them capital, or installment, loans. Typically, these loans extend from 18 months to 10 years.
  • Long-term loans: Used to acquire, construct and develop land and buildings, these loan types are usually amortized over periods beyond 10 years. Lenders may describe them as real estate loans because they are usually secured by real estate.
  • Fixed rate loans: A fixed rate loan holds the same interest rate until the loan is fully paid. A variable or adjustable rate loan (see below) is different in that the interest rate changes based on market rates of interest, a specified index, or other variables determined by a lender.
  • Adjustable rate loans: Farm loan rates on adjustable rate loans can only fluctuate at intervals designated in a loan agreement. For example, the interest rate on a 3-year adjustable rate loan can only change one time every 3 years.
  • Variable rate loans: These loans designate intervals in which interest rates may shift, but in some variable rate loans, a change in the interest may be lender-determined. If a farmer has a variable or adjustable rate loan, he or she should be aware of the frequency at which the amount of interest may change.
  • Loan agreement: This is a written agreement between the lender and the borrower outlining the terms, conditions, and restrictions associated with a farmland financing transaction.

 

Questions on ag loan options? Contact Bankers South!


A Solid Ag Loan Option When Interest Rates Rise

Recently, the Federal Reserved (Fed) raised interest rates.

Why?

Higher interest rates are implemented to reduce the speed of economic growth by making borrowing more difficult. In other words, in the Fed’s opinion, the economy was growing “too fast” so they upped the interest rates to brake this rapid growth. Once they assess that this rapid growth has been sufficiently handled, a lowering of interest rates will be implemented to restore steady economic growth.

Until then, these increased interest rates strongly impact variable rate agricultural loans. When interest rates increase, it naturally follows that agricultural landowners are less likely to apply for farm loans, ranch loans, citrus loans, etc. However, agricultural landowners are not without options during periods of elevated interest rates.

Fixed Rate Ag Loans

Fixed rate ag loans are loans where the interest rate does not rise and fall during the fixed rate period of the loan, allowing the borrower to accurately forecast forthcoming payments. Variable rate loans, on the other hand, are directly impacted by interest rates (also called discount rates) and are thus, not easy to predict.

During periods when interest rates are elevated, ag lending companies typically provide a discount to borrowers to fix their interest rate over time, as rates are more likely to fall during the fixed rate period. Conversely, during periods where interest rates are lower, fixed rate agricultural loans are generally higher than variable rates because interest rates are strongly expected to rise during the fixed rate period.

Therefore, in the current economic climate, it definitely makes sense to consider a fixed rate agricultural loan when assessing your farmland financing options.

To learn more about fixed rate agricultural loans and financing agricultural land, please contact us at Bankers South Lending & Finance at 855 898 BANK.


Record Prices and Low Debt Ratios Spur Increase in Farm Loans

The news in farm lending these days has been nothing but rosy. Reuters reported recently that ag loans are up 14 percent to almost $82 billion last year. That’s remarkable considering the historic drought that struck much of the country and speaks volumes to the good times we’re seeing in agriculture.

Last year, farmers saw cash income of $133 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture. Those projections were at near-record levels thanks to high commodity prices at market and an increase in a demand for food globally – all good things for those in agriculture.

Even with all that lending last year, balance sheets remain strong. Farm debt-to-asset ratios are expected to fall 40 points this year to just 10.2 percent. This would be a record for farm credit and supports the idea that these high profit margins will continue.

For anyone who might have gotten lost with all those statistics, here’s the boiled-down version: High agriculture profits without a lot of debt mean good times for farmers.

This also means it’s a good time for farm operations to grow. Times of high profits and low debt mean farms can take on new agriculture loans to add acreage or buy equipment. At Bankers South, we employ experts at helping farmers plan for expansion. We’ll help you develop a strategy and come up with ag loan options to succeed at your goals.

For many farms, the best option is with AgAmerica loans, a program that competes with and often beats all other farm loan rates. For others, it’s a hard-money loan based on collateral. And some may choose an equity line where you can take out money as your operation grows.

Whichever you choose, you can take comfort in knowing now is the time to grow. With record profits and low debt ratios, there has never been a better time to be in agriculture.


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