In response to the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed its operations, thus costing many farmers their farms and farming dreams.
As of now, the general public can’t even access the USDA’s website for information regarding funding and farmland loans:
“Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. After funding has been restored, please allow some time for this website to become available again.”
Many farmers have already been waiting months to receive government farm loans, including USDA direct farm operating loans, direct farm ownership loans, and guaranteed ownership loans. This shutdown will prolong the waiting game for 1,800 of the approximately 29,000 farmers expected to receive USDA farm loans this year. These delays, resulting from the government shutdown combined with the fact that Congress has yet to pass a budget, will likely cause many farmers to lose their farms or let go of their farming dreams. It’s clear that the path to receiving a USDA farm loan will be a long, taxing, and unreliable one for many farmers. Congress really needs to pull through with a budget.
It’s evident that farmers are in a somewhat hopeless state of affairs due to many issues beyond their control. Stress and uncertainty abound, as they do their best to deal with these delays and doubts. Delays can be just as damaging to farmers as not receiving ag loans at all. For example, maybe the farmer isn’t able to invest in crops or farm equipment in a timely fashion. Time is often of the essence in the agricultural industry. As Congress continues with its indecision, farmers will continue dealing with consequences.
In the throws of this government shutdown, it may make sense to seek funding elsewhere. Bankers South offers non-conventional agricultural land as well as conventional ag loans. These farm loans come in handy when borrowers are facing special circumstances. It never hurts to explore your farmland financing options. Contact us to see if we can meet your financing needs.