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Committee Approves Changes to Agricultural Disaster Relief Program

Jan 17, 2020

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation that would allow farmers to apply soon for low-interest qualified loans. Introduced by Senator Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway), the bill would update the Agriculture Disaster Loan Origination Program to reflect the specific needs of the 2019 season and allow lenders to begin issuing loans with the $15 million appropriated by the legislature in June 2019.

The program is a partnership between farmers and processors, private lenders, and the state to support the agriculture industry through loss of crops due to weather-related disasters. It provides growers and agribusinesses low-interest loans and it allows farms to take out a loan based on their qualified losses to cover their everyday expenses, including machinery, land, and infrastructure payments.

Among other changes, the legislation would update the interest rate to the five-year U.S. Treasury Note rate plus 2% and extend the lending period to seven years.

The bill has been sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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