The Farm Service Agency is assisting farmers financially who are unable to successfully get loans from their traditional institutions due to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding producers that the FSA offers farm ownership and farm operating loans who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank. They can apply for FSA direct or guaranteed loans. The FSA can guarantee up to 95% of the loss of principal and interest on a loan and allows lenders to make agricultural credit available to producers who don’t meet normal underwriting criteria.

The loans can be used to purchase or enlarge a farm, build or improve buildings, promote soil and water conservation, purchase livestock, acquire equipment, or buy fertilizer and other materials needed to operate a farm. The operating loan funds can also be used for family living expenses, refinancing debts under certain conditions, paying salaries of hired farm laborers, or installing and improving water systems for home, livestock or irrigation use.

The FSA loans are designed to help new farmers, underserved farmers, and those who have suffered financial hardship from natural disasters or economic issues. To apply contact your local FSA office or visit farmers.gov.