Farm Credit Services of Illinois
, which serves more than 8,500 farm families in the 60 southernmost counties, will work with its farmer borrowers impacted by the drought, Farm Credit leaders announced this week at the Illinois State Fair.
“We can’t make it rain, and we can’t restore a lost crop, but Farm Credit is committed to always be there to support our owners,” said Dave Owens, Farm Credit Services of Illinois president and chief executive officer.
The drought initiatives include an interest-free period for up to $100,000 of the balance on existing operating loans during September, October, and November.
The program automatically will be applied to eligible operating loans as of Sept. 1. All interest charges on up to $100,000 of the balance through Nov. 30 will be credited back to the borrower.
Farm Credit also will restructure existing loans to defer current payments for farmers facing unexpected cash flow problems stemming from the drought.
In addition, the institution will work with individual borrowers to consider locking in historically low long-term interest rates.
“As a cooperative business, our overriding concern is for the financial viability of our customer stockholders,” Owens said. “Although many grain farmers manage these weather-related risks through crop insurance, there will still be some financial impact and possible cash flow challenges on many farming operations.”
In July and early August, Farm Credit hosted more than 1,000 farmers at 12 drought meetings throughout Central and Southern Illinois. The discussion included the processes and procedures for filing crop insurance claims.