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Business Briefs - July 31, 2019

USDA making payments under Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA reports its Farm Service Agency (FSA) has started issuing payments under its Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can still enroll through Sept. 20.

Authorized by the 2018 farm bill, DMC replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up, and FSA has begun paying approximately $100 million to producers for January-May.

DMC provides coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. The May 2019 income over feed cost margin was $9 per cwt., triggering the fifth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the $9.50 level of coverage under DMC. Payments for January, February, March, and April also were triggered.

With the 50 percent hay blend, FSA’s revised April 2019 income over feed cost margin is $8.82 per cwt. The revised margins for January, February, and March are, respectively, $7.71, $7.91, and $8.66.

Dairy producers can choose coverage levels from $4 up to $9.50 at signup. More than 98 percent of those enrolled have elected $9.50 coverage on up to 95 percent of their production history.

Farmers have cost-share opportunity for certification program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee farmers looking to expand their markets and increase food safety by becoming good agricultural practices (GAP) certified now have the opportunity to receive financial assistance from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).

GAP certification allows producers to sell directly to more businesses and institutions with stringent food safety requirements, such as grocery stores or hospitals. These new opportunities allow producers to increase their income, and the certification helps to ensure food is safe and wholesome for specialty crops throughout Tennessee.

The application period closes August 31. Qualified producers will have the opportunity to offset the cost of a GAP Certification inspection by being reimbursed 75 percent of the inspection cost up to $750. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis. Grant funds are available to producers only; warehouses and distributors may not apply.

Find more information and the application at or by emailing Grant Pulse at

Raber Packing to rebuild in West Peoria after 2018 fire

WEST PEORIA, Ill. — The head of Peoria’s only local farm-to-fork packinghouse has announced plans to rebuild his family business after a fire destroyed the business in November 2018.

Raber Packing Co. President Buddy Courdt announced the company will rebuild in West Peoria. The new facility, projected to cost $8 million, will relocate near its roots to a site on Farmington Road. The four-alarm fire, which used more than 1.4 million gallons of water, destroyed the packinghouse and damaged other parts of the business.

Courdt said they decided to build an entirely new facility. It was designed by Courdt and his youngest brother, Brad, an industrial design engineer. The specially-designed 40,000-50,000 square-foot processing facility will house an expanded retail area, a larger slaughter floor, processing area, and office space. The new design also will provide for the most efficient flow-through from slaughter to counter as well as incorporating new cost-effective methods.

Hein Construction expects a completion date in November 2019. Raber Packing expects to employ 40 full-time union employees. Raber has been family-owned and -operated since 1954.

AEM, EDA, FEMA team up on ag teacher scholarship program

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Inspiring the next generation to consider working toward a career within the agriculture equipment industry continues to be one of the greatest challenges for equipment manufacturers and dealers.

A joint industry initiative led by the Assoc. of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) Ag Sector Board aims to increase the number of equipment-specific courses taught in high schools, to help expand awareness of and enthusiasm for the equipment manufacturing industry.

With help from the Equipment Dealers Assoc. (EDA) and Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assoc. (FEMA), 36 educators from 12 states were awarded partial scholarships for certification in equipment courses starting this summer. The courses, offered through the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (C.A.S.E.), will qualify teachers to begin teaching the courses this fall, with the potential of reaching more than 1,500 students in the 2019-20 school year.

Teachers will spend 80 hours working through nearly every lesson in the yearlong curriculum and learning how to deliver lessons in an inquiry-based way that will shift focus in the classroom from teacher-led to student-directed learning.

Organizations wishing to contribute or match a teacher scholarship, which currently covers about half of the teacher’s total certification expenses, should call Brian Voss with AEM at 414-298-4108.

fairlife to expand and build new production facility in Arizona

CHICAGO, Ill. — fairlife, LLC announced plans to increase overall production capabilities with the construction of a new 300,000 square-foot production and distribution facility in Goodyear, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix.

fairlife currently produces multiple varieties of dairy-based beverages at its production plant in Coopersville, Mich., and distributes the highly nutritious beverages to retailers in the United States and Canada.

The new $200 million-plus facility, which is slated to begin operation in the back half of 2020, will house production lines that will play a key role in meeting the growing demand for fairlife. Working with the United Dairymen of Arizona (UDA) to source milk from numerous dairy farmers in Goodyear, the new plant will enable increased production of all fairlife products.

The new facility will incorporate advanced manufacturing technologies and efficient, energy-saving equipment to reduce power consumption. It will create more than 140 jobs locally.

BQA program develops, distributes extensive national manual

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — An official manual for the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that is both detailed and extensive is being distributed nationwide throughout the cattle industry. The manual and the BQA program are both managed by the producer education team at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assoc., a contractor to the beef checkoff.

The 124-page manual addresses topics such as food safety, animal well-being, worker safety, and environmental stewardship. It provides specific information to help producers approach management decisions in a way that acknowledges a responsibility to the animals, consumers, the environment, and the larger beef industry.

A helpful resource for cattle producers and others in the industry, it is the foundation for training and certification programs offered nationally and by many states. To view the new manual or become BQA-certified, visit

AgReliant Genetics expands into new northwestern footprint

WESTFIELD, Ind. — AgReliant Genetics, the third-largest seed corn company in North America, announced its recent research and testing expansion into the northwestern U.S. Corn Belt states of Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Directing greater resources toward the northwestern Corn Belt, which is where the company currently sees opportunities in market and acreage growth, will support the expansion of its product portfolio and customer experiences now and in the future.

This growth initiative includes the opening of a new AgReliant Genetics research station in Sioux Falls, S.D., and an expanded testing network focused on geographically targeted germplasm evaluation and corn hybrid production.

Sentera’s FieldAgent now integrated with Beck’s FARMserver

ATLANTA, Ind. — Beck’s precision farming platform FARMserver has partnered with Sentera to simplify the process of uploading drone imagery into their multifaceted precision farming technology. For users who are flying with Sentera’s FieldAgent, uploading drone images is now easier.

FARMserver users can now transfer all their monitor data and Sentera drone imagery into their account through a seamless wireless transfer. Once integrated, QuickTile maps, weed density analysis, and stand count analysis will automatically transfer into FARMserver for use in queries, scouting notes, and more.

With this optimal collaboration, farmers can now fly a field, stitch together drone images, and create a map with real, actionable data. Once in FARMserver, this map can help determine acres affected and even serve as a reference layer for yield queries.

The Andersons expands organic plant nutrients in Indiana

MAUMEE, Ohio — The Andersons, Inc. is now offering organic-approved plant nutrients from a new warehouse at its Waterloo, Ind., location. The Waterloo facility will continue to serve conventional growers and dealers, but now has a portion dedicated to supplying nutrient products approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

From the new warehouse, dealers and growers can access a variety of organic-approved products, including primary nutrients, soil amendments, granular micronutrients, and enhanced efficiency products. This expansion aligns with The Andersons’ strategy to grow in organic and specialty food-grade ingredients.

For a list of available organic-approved nutrients, visit or call 419-891-2785 for available sizing and pricing.

Compass and Marrone Bio collaborate on plant nutrition

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition, a division of Compass Minerals, and Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. announced that the two companies have formed a collaboration to develop new specialty plant nutrient products enhanced with microorganisms.

The new products will be developed with patented technologies aimed at helping crops take up nutrients more efficiently, to increase crop health and reduce crop stress. From Marrone Bio’s collection of 18,000 microorganisms, Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition will leverage its specialty in plant nutrition with a subset of Marrone’s novel microbes, to create innovative products to enhance plant health and growth.

One way microorganisms increase plant growth is by making nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, and minerals or micronutrients more available to the plant. This not only helps farmers’ bottom line but can also be more environmentally friendly by reducing the quantity of excess nutrients not efficiently taken up by the plant.

Ace Pump receives prestigious ‘E’ Star Award for exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 23. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented Ace Pump Corp. of Memphis, Tenn., with the President’s “E” Star Award for Exports.

In presenting, Ross noted Ace Pump has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was impressed with Ace Pump’s strategic pursuit of markets in the southern hemisphere to offset seasonal challenges in its northern hemisphere home market, ensuring year-round sales and greater employment opportunities in the United States.

Ace Pump’s chief exports are centrifugal pumps for the application of herbicides, pesticides, and liquid fertilizers in agriculture. Exports account for approximately 23 percent of its annual revenues. Ace Pump sells to more than 15 markets worldwide with Canada, South America, and Europe being the company’s main export destinations.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit

Tennessee implementing new rules for its hemp program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is announcing rule changes for the state’s hemp program to better serve hemp producers.

The application period for a license to grow hemp is now open year-round. Licenses will expire June 30 of each year, and all grower licenses issued in 2019 will expire in June 2020. Grower applications can be found online at

Other program changes include: hemp processors will no longer be required to register through TDA; the hemp program will no longer issue licenses for certified seed breeders – however, anyone manufacturing, distributing, or labeling seed should be licensed through TDA’s Ag Inputs section; and growers will still need movement permits when transporting rooted plants and are now required to be permitted when moving harvested hemp from their growing site.

TDA has licensed more than 2,900 hemp growers in 2019. In 2018, it approved 226 producer applications. You will find more information about Tennessee’s hemp program at

Mercaris to establish price transparency for organic cream

SILVER SPRINGS, Md, — Mercaris, a market data and trading startup that is helping to grow the organic and non-GMO agriculture industry in the United States, held its second quarterly online auction for certified organic cream on May 30.

By participating in, or observing, regular dairy auctions throughout the year, Mercaris subscribers gain exclusive access to the industry-first online market for organic, non-GMO and identity-preserved commodities. The company’s online auctions are held in real time, and reveal all bids and offers to online participants, helping define true price discovery for the market.

Its network ranges from individual farmers to grain companies, processors, and end-user food companies, offering today’s agricultural professionals access to new markets, new buyers, and new sellers while diversifying overall marketing efforts. There is no fee to list contracts on the Mercaris auctions platform.

The next online auction for organic cream will take place on August 22. For more information or to participate in the next auction, visit

New transport permit available to Tennessee horse owners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee horse owners have a new resource to protect the health of their livestock. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is offering the Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI), which provides real-time tracking and better disease traceability for horses being transported across state lines.

The EECVI will be available to owners 24 hours a day and will be accepted in more states than the current permit. Additionally, if the worst happens and there is a disease outbreak, real-time tracking will enable state animal health officials to notify horse owners much more quickly.

In order to transport a horse, mule, donkey, pony, zebra, or other equine across state lines, a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) and negative test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is required. The EECVI extends the CVI date of expiration from 30 days to six months, and it eases travel to multiple states with different requirements.

The current movement permit offered, the Tennessee Equine Interstate Event Permit (Equine Passport), will no longer be available through TDA. It had partnered with other states more than a decade ago to provide the Passport program; however, all of the original partner states have decided to transition to EECVI.

For more information, call 615-837-5120 or visit

2018 Ohio Beef Council Annual Report now available

MARYSVILLE, Ohio — The Ohio Beef Council (OBC) has published its 2018 Annual Report, providing results of Ohio beef checkoff programs to the producers in Ohio who invest in this demand-building effort.

Included in the report is an overview of revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2018, as well as summaries of programs from each OBC budget category; these include innovation, stewardship, nutrition, issues management, and producer communications.

The purpose of this publication is to provide financial transparency to Ohio’s beef producers who invest in the checkoff and share the success of the funds’ implementation. To request a copy of the annual report, email or call 614-873-6736. It can also be viewed online at

New electronic platform for Tennessee Market News Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — To better assist Tennessee's farmers and agribusinesses in making informed marketing decisions, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the USDA are providing a new electronic data platform for the Tennessee Market News Service.

The Service allows producers, industry, and the public to view market price information for livestock, grain, and other commodities. The new web-based platform, Market Analysis and Reporting Services (MARS), improves the transparency, speed, and accuracy of market news.

The program facilitates the flow of data from more than 3,600 markets nationwide to Agricultural Marketing Service analysts, who then provide reports online. If producers have previously bookmarked a link to market news, they will need to reestablish a new link through

TDA also provides timely and reliable market information through a toll-free hotline service that is updated daily. The number to call for this service is 800-342-8206.

Economics of soil health to be assessed across continent

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Management practices that improve soil health can be good for the farm and the environment, but farmers need information on economics when deciding whether to adopt these practices.

To address this critical issue, Cargill and the Soil Health Institute (SHI) have announced a new partnership to assess, demonstrate, and communicate the economics of soil health management systems across North America.

Supported by an $850,000 grant from Cargill, the SHI will lead in developing enterprise budgets to compare profitability of soil health-promoting systems with conventional management systems on approximately 100 farms near 120 research sites across North America.

Cargill and SHI can address the single most influential factor affecting adoption of soil health systems the economic impact on farmers. This partnership will produce more meaningful and profitable programs for growers and accelerate adoption so that agriculture can be part of the solution to environmental challenges. Learn more at

Accenture, Corteva pilot bring technology skilling to rural Iowa

JEFFERSON, Iowa — Accenture and Corteva Agriscience announced in June a collaboration bringing together nonprofit groups, higher education organizations, and government leaders to help individuals and educators in Jefferson acquire technology skills while remaining in their rural communities.

Together with the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), the pilot program is designed to train students and educators in rural Jefferson – a community of 4,300 people 65 miles northwest of Des Moines – in high-demand, high-value software development technology skills.

Starting in the fall, Corteva will fund 25 scholarships for students in DMACC’s Computer Languages program, where they will receive computer science training. Upon completing their studies, select graduates will participate in a four-month commercial software development training program at a new office Accenture is opening in September 2019.

The pilot program has attracted participation from Silicon Valley nonprofit organization The Tech, which will help the Greene County Community School District to better prepare students for STEM careers. The Tech will continue to support curriculum development and individual educators throughout the 2019-20 school year.

Naig initiates program to create markets for Iowa meat

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has applied for a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. The program will allow participating state-inspected meat and poultry processors to distribute their products across state lines.

State-inspected meat processors are smaller than their federally-inspected counterparts but are held to equal standards. Iowa’s small meat processors generate $1.5 million in total economic output, $596,000 in labor income, and about 15 jobs for every $1 million in sales.

To qualify for the CIS program, a meat processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and comply with all federal food safety, sanitation, and facility regulations. IDALS’ formal application is the first in a series of steps required to finalize the agreement. The changes will likely go into effect in 2020.

AgriSafe receives $85,000 from CHS for rural health initiatives

PEOSTA, Iowa — AgriSafe is pleased to announce it has received $85,000 in grant funding from CHS Community Giving, the direct grant-making arm of CHS, the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, to assist in three agricultural health and safety initiatives.

CHS Community Giving funding will support expanding mental health services, continuing education for rural nurses, and health/safety training for future agricultural producers.

Through a new initiative called Total Farmer Health, AgriSafe will take a holistic approach to training 300 rural health care professionals and 200 rural influencers to better identify mental health signs and recommend treatment. Farm Credit and CHS are the lead sponsors of the Total Farmer Health initiative.

CHS Community Giving funding also includes ongoing support of AgriSafe's Invest in Your Health program, a wellness initiative for high school and college ag students, and the AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program, an innovative distance-learning opportunity available to rural nurses throughout the nation.

Open call for applications for 2019 Feed Facility of the Year

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Assoc. (AFIA) is accepting applications for the 2019 Feed Facility of the Year (FFY) program. Sponsored by AFIA and Feedstuffs, this is designed to be a world-class benchmarking program for the animal food industry.

It recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations, emphasizing safety, quality, regulatory compliance, employee development, and overall operating efficiencies.

AFIA and Feedstuffs redesigned the former Feed Mill of the Year award program in 2016 to be more industry-inclusive and expanded it in 2017 to include non-AFIA members in the benchmarking portion of the program. Non-members are ineligible for the awards, but they receive all the benefits of the benchmarking program.

To keep benchmarking information relative, four industry categories, with category-specific applications, are considered: commercial dry feed, integrator, liquid feed, and premix/ingredient manufacturing. AFIA and Feedstuffs will select winners in each category and among those, will name an overall FFY winner.

The winners will be recognized at the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo, Jan. 28-30 in Atlanta, Ga. Applications are due by Sept. 6, along with an application fee of $100 for AFIA members and $250 for non-members. Visit to learn more.

Land O'Lakes and Royal Agrifirm announce China joint venture

TIANJIN — Two global agricultural cooperatives, Land O'Lakes, Inc. and The Netherlands-based Royal Agrifirm Group, announced they will be setting up a dairy animal feed joint venture in China. The new company, Agrilakes, will leverage existing market knowledge, insights, technologies, and research capability from both Land O'Lakes and Agrifirm to provide world-class service to China-based feed customers and dairy farmers.

The joint venture will initially be based in Agrifirm's existing manufacturing plant in Tianjin, with plans to build a new dairy premix and specialty plant on the adjacent property. As dairy farms in this region continue to grow with increased sophistication and production efficiency, evolving dairy feed practices are driving demand for enhanced animal nutrition and productivity.

Both partner companies bring experience operating in China to the joint venture. The formation and funding of Agrilakes has been approved by the boards of directors of both cooperatives and is pending appropriate antitrust and regulatory approvals.

Business development a top priority for Tennessee agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is announcing a new structure for its division dedicated to supporting new and expanding agricultural and forestry businesses.

The renamed Business Development Division will prioritize ag economic development by increasing profitability and viability of farm and forest businesses, which are vital to Tennessee’s rural and overall economy.

Keith Harrison will lead the division as assistant commissioner. He began his career at TDA as an agricultural marketing specialist in 1984 and served as director of Marketing until the end of 2000. Later, he served as assistant commissioner for Consumer and Industry Services.

Focus areas will include international marketing, farm-direct marketing, and industry development. The division will also look to strengthen Tennessee’s ag industry through cost-share programs. The division will provide strategic direction and outreach for the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. A renewed emphasis has been established for export promotion and international marketing through the Southern United States Trade Assoc.

The division will also have a new food products business consultant – Mike Brown has been with TDA since 2014. He will be a resource for new and expanding food manufacturers by developing marketing opportunities.

Iowa agriculture receives $1.15 million grant from EPA

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has been selected for a $1.15 million cooperative agreement by the EPA – Gulf of Mexico Program. The funding will be used to install up to six wetlands in targeted locations to improve water quality and habitat in the Middle Cedar River watershed. It is estimated this project will reduce downstream nitrogen loads by 58,000 pounds per year.

IDALS is partnering with the cities of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, and Waterloo, Iowa State University, Iowa Corn Growers Assoc., Iowa Soybean Assoc., and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation on this project to locate, promote, design, and implement these watersheds.

In addition, the watersheds enhance the local wildlife habitat. The area will be seeded with pollinator-friendly plants to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinator species. The state is in the process of identifying potential locations for the wetlands and are visiting with interested landowners. The first wetlands are expected to break ground in 2020.

Ohio DNR awards more than $400K for Lake Erie projects

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has approved more than $437,000 in funding through the Coastal Management Assistance Grant (CMAG) program for five projects in Toledo, Eastlake, Ashtabula County, Lorain, and Bay Village that will improve coastal planning, public access, and water quality.

This year’s projects include installing handicapped-accessible parking spaces and walkways, implementing green stormwater infrastructure, enhancing stream and wetland habitats, which will help filter and improve water quality, and developing plans and engineering designs needed to improve public access and restore coastal habitat.

CMAG is a competitive reimbursement grant program that provides matching funds up to 50 percent of project costs, with a minimum of 50 percent from the applicant. Funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Ohio Coastal Management Program. The CMAG program has provided more than $5.62 million for 141 projects in Ohio since 1998.

Rock River Laboratory launches hemp analysis services

WATERTOWN, Wis. — Rock River Laboratory, Inc., an agricultural analysis laboratory with more than 40 years of experience, announces a new addition to its repertoire of expertise: Hemp analysis services for growers and processors.

Accurate, regular lab analyses can now be run throughout the hemp growing season – including testing of the cannabinoid (CBD) profile to help growers prepare for harvest. Delta 9-THC production tracking in hemp helps plan the growing timeline and guard against surprises at harvest, while regular CBD production analysis assists in forecasting and future crop decisions.

Rock River is certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection for soil analysis and participates in the hemp industry’s only proficiency program, administered by the University of Kentucky. For more information, visit and click on “Hemp” under “Services,” or call 920-261-0446.

Higher cash prizes offered in 2019 photo contest

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — The annual photo contest of National Corn Growers Assoc. (NCGA) at started in 2014 to help tell the story of farming field corn in America. Since its start, NCGA has collected 2,000 photos across 10 categories and awarded more than 100 cash prizes.

A few updates have been made for the 2019 contest, including stricter resolution requirements, so photographers should use their equipment’s highest resolution settings; and the single most popular photo with Facebook “likes” will be awarded a $500 prize.

First ($300), second ($200), and third ($100) prizes will be awarded for each of seven categories and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500. A new category this year is “True Grit, Women’s Edition.”

Open to all, entries will be accepted at the website through Nov. 30 and will be available to accumulate Facebook “likes” through December. Winners will be announced in January 2020.

Ohio DNR distributing $485K of federal funds to 18 counties

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is distributing more than $485,000 of federal funds to 18 counties, which will primarily go toward improving schools and roads.

Counties receiving funding include Athens, Delaware, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Scioto, Vinton, Washington, Licking, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Trumbull.

Funding comes from leases to mineral rights and forest products on federal lands in Ohio, through the USDA’s Secure Rural Schools Act program and the Department of the Interior’s National Forest Acquired Lands and Flood Control Act Lands programs. Revenue sharing varies by program but brings anywhere from 25-75 percent back to the counties.

Depending on the program, state statute requires certain portions of the funds be used for schools and roads. Over the past five years, these programs have provided nearly $3.7 million to Ohio counties.

Website to help producers find loans that fit their operation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on USDA farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. Compared to this time last year, FSA has seen an 18 percent increase in the amount it has obligated for direct farm ownership loans, and through the 2018 farm bill, has increased the limits for several loan products.

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges. Those looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer a few simple questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow.

After submitting their answers, farmers will be provided information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided. Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting and clicking the “Start” button.