Farm and banking groups spoke with congressional appropriators this week about using upcoming appropriations bills to give authority and funding for Farm Service Agency Loans to farmers. The Hagstrom Report said the 15 farm and banking groups feel a continuing resolution should be used to solve short term funding issues, while the upcoming omnibus appropriations bill could be used to help clear up a backlog of funding requests from fiscal year 2016. The appropriations bill could also be used to prepare for the expected rise in the number of loan applications next year because of the economic downturn in agriculture.
“We realize time is short and the demands on appropriators are many, but there’s a crisis in farm country,” said Ferd Hoefner, Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He said it should be easily fixed by giving FSA increased flexibility in the short term and a moderate increase in funding in the medium term to allow the agency to meet the growing credit demands from farmers. It will also allow the FSA to continue focusing on the needs of the next generation of agriculture as well.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.