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What you need to know about existing FSA commodity loans

What you need to know about existing FSA commodity loans
Many FSA loans based on 2014 crop will be coming due soon.

If you took out a loan on commodity crops through the Farm Service Agency on 2014 crops, Julia Wickard has a reminder for you. Many of those loans will be coming due soon, and must be repaid.

"Commodity loans issued through FSA are nine-month loans," explains Wickard, Indiana state director for FSA. The commodity loan program is a national program administered by FSA. It revolves around issuing loans based on commodity crops that you have in storage on the farm. A sizable number of loans were issued on the 2014 crop, she says.

Follow the rules: If you have a commodity loan on 2014 crop through FSA, you should have the grain in the bin, unless you've already repaid the loan, Julia Wickard notes. Many loans will be due soon.

Wickard says there are two important points to keep in mind about loans made at some point on the 2014 crop in bins. First, when those loans come due, repayment is due. If you're not sure about due dates or if you have loans of various maturities, check with your local FSA office.

Wickard says that to assist producers in knowing the status of loans, FSA issues a letter 45 days before the loan is due to be repaid. If you currently have a loan, you can expect a letter 45 days before the nine-month period ends, if you haven't already received a letter.

The second point involves the need to actually have the grain on hand during the period of the loan, she notes.

"The grain in your bin is the collateral for the loan from FSA," she says. "You're expected to have the grain on hand. Before you sell or move the grain, you need to notify your FSA office in advance."

There are spot checks built into this program to determine if producers are complying with this provision, and have the grain on hand, she says. Sometimes those inspections discover that someone has already sold the grain and not notified FSA.

"You must keep your local office in the loop and let them know if you sell the grain and haven't repaid the loan," she says.

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