Farmers may begin applying for Farm Storage Facility loans for corn, grain sorghum, rice soybeans and other crops following USDA’s implementation of the changes required by the 2008 farm bill for the program.

The program provides low-interest loans of up to $500,000 to farmers who want to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities for specific crops. The USDA Farm Service Agency administers the FSFL program on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corp.

“We are committed to providing the necessary resources to keep producers financially solvent before, during and after each crop year, and this program will help ensure that they have adequate capacity to store their harvest until they sell it on the open market,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Participants are required to provide a down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling equipment up to a total of $500,000.

Loan terms of 7, 10 or 12 years are available depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each term rate may be different and are based on the rate which CCC borrows from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Payments are available in the form of a partial disbursement and the remaining final disbursement. The partial disbursement will be available after a portion of the construction has been completed. The final fund disbursement will be made when all construction is completed. The maximum amount of the partial disbursement will be 50 percent of the projected and approved total loan amount.

Applications for FSFL must be submitted to the FSA county office that maintains the farm’s records. An FSFL must be approved before any site preparation or construction can begin.

Among the commodities eligible for farm storage facility loans are corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley or minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain; corn, grain sorghum, wheat, oats or barley harvested as other-than-whole grain; pulse crops – lentils, small chickpeas and dry peas; hay; renewable biomass; fruits (including nuts) and vegetables.

For more information about FSFL or other FSA price support program, please visit your FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.