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Build Grain, Silage Storage 'On-The-Cheap'

Need extra storage? FSA low-interest loans can save a bundle on interest, alone.

John Vogel, Editor, American Agriculturist

May 28, 2008

2 Min Read

American Agriculturist magazine has reported on several situations which warrant on-farm grain and silage storage expansion. A large small grain harvest will soon be coming out of the fields in the Northeast. As the farmer in June's cover story noted, "If you don't have adequate small-grain storage, you'd better line it up quickly." That's also going to fill storage that normally would be reserved for corn and soybeans.

And, due to price risks, many commercial elevators and mills have stopped offering forward pricing contracts. That, too, will compound fall commercial storage issues, likely pushing up storage costs.

With intended corn for grain and for silage acreage up substantially in the Northeast, livestock producers may be looking to expand silage structures. (See "Hard-packing (silage) doubles your dollars" on page 18 of June's issue. You can also find it soon on this Web site under Magazine Online.)

With these storage shortage scenarios developing, the New York's Farm Service Agency officials reminds you to consider FSA's Farm Storage Facility Loan Program. It provides low-interest financing to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities.

Key features

FSFL loans are made for new grain and silage storage structures plus renovations of existing storage. That includes bins, cribs, upright and bunker-type silos, flat storage barns and permanently affixed grain handling and grain drying equipment.

Fixed rate interest, with an annual payment for up to seven years. Loans made in May were approved at 3%, compared to commercial loan rates of 6%. On a $50,000 loan, the interest savings would be about $5,850.

Maximum loan of $100,000 per eligible producer.

While this is a highly unusual market year, avoiding a sale of grain at a harvest time low may provide a gain that could pay for the storage within a year.

And, you can take advantage of low-interest loans on farm-stored commodities.

For more details, contact your local FSA office or visit: www.fsa.usda.gov.

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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