Demand for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency loans for operating expenditures such as purchases of farm equipment has exceeded available funds at the agency's North Dakota branch, although more funds should become available.
Curt Thoreson, FSA farm loan program director in North Dakota, said loan volume is higher and the dollar amount for loans given out this year has shown a dramatic increase over last year, according to a report from AgWeek.
Thoreson said the FSA branch has issued operating loans for a total of $26 million through May 6, a 40 percent increase from last year's total of $18.5 million.
"I'd say factors affecting the increase are that the livestock economy has hurt a lot of our producers and they're coming to us for some funding," Thoreson said. Spring flooding and infrastructure damage have also increased the need for funds, he said.
Thoreson said this year's late spring caused many applications to come in later than usual, with some still coming in, although FSA had returned $4 million in loan funding back to the federal government on May 6.
FSA used authorized stimulus funds to generate 2,636 farm operating direct loans valued at more than $173 million in 47 states, USDA said.