The Agriculture Department will provide an additional $500 million in discretionary funds to cover a projected shortfall in demand for guaranteed farm ownership loans for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. USDA is close to running out of the $2 billion Congress approved for the guaranteed loan program with three months remaining in this fiscal year. Farm ownership funds may be used to purchase or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings and/or improve structures, pay closing costs, and promote soil and water conservation and protection.
USDA is also looking at a projected shortfall in federally assisted farm operating loans.
The fiscal year 2017 agricultural appropriations bill includes the USDA-requested program level of $1.46 billion for direct operating loans and $1.432 billion for guaranteed operating loans.
However, neither ag appropriations bill has been passed in the Senate or the House.