When it comes to the success or failure of farms in America, it usually comes down to financing. The US is the world’s biggest exporter of agricultural products, with more than 2 million farms in operation around the country. But while there is still plenty of business out there for farmers, it’s often important to find the cash needed to get going when one is starting out. And it’s even more important to find the right financing when a farm finds itself struggling for funds during emergency situations.
There are a few key ways to locate financing for a farm, but the two largest and best options still remain lenders and the government. Each one offers something a little bit different for farmers and their farms.
• Government – The government has several different programs in place to help farms and farmers. In addition to various tax breaks that can assist farmers during tax season, there are also several different grant programs that can provide money to farmers. In the case of grants, money usually won’t even need to be repaid. However, qualifying for various grants can be difficult to do and in many cases it will actually be a challenge to find a program that can help. Plus, funds are usually not enough to cover all expenses. Still, the government can certainly help when it comes to farming funding.
• Lenders – Banks are still the main thing that makes it possible to start a farm. Average farm sizes are climbing and have reached 421 acres as of 2011, and buying land as well as equipment means a large investment. Numerous lenders have programs in place to help those looking to enter the agricultural field, and heading to a bank is the right first step to make for most. The key is to pay special attention to interest rates and terms of the deal in order to ensure that the best possible agreement is obtained.
For most, a combination of these two options is the right way to go. A good loan with fair terms combined with the right government funds to help supplement it can really provide farmers with the capital they need to make their mark in the American agricultural climate.