The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has announced farmers can now finance the purchase of portable storage containers as part of changes to the Farm Storage Facility Loan program.
Currently, the Farm Storage Facility Loan program offers low interest financing options to help food producers build or upgrade facilities. As these structures tend to be larger, it’s not uncommon for commercial farmers to take advantage of the loan program. Smaller and independent farmers face difficulties because they needed the storage space, but may not have the resources to secure a loan.
With the changes, smaller farmers can now afford to take out loans in order to obtain portable storage units.
New microloan option
As part of the changes, the USDA is introducing loans with a microloan option that come with smaller down payments.
This new microloan option offers farmers the ability to qualify for a smaller down payment of 5 percent while not requiring them to provide any prior production history. According to the USDA, the total of the loan cannot exceed $50,000.
It is expected that the microloan programwill be of particular benefit to small ranchers, farmers and producers who do not have access to large, commercial storage.
The USDA noted these changes are a continuation of policies and efforts that have been ongoing since 2009 in an effort to help further the development of local food sources.
Growing demand of local food
Based on current trends, it is no surprise why the USDA is placing an emphasis on local food producers and helping them fulfill their storage needs.
“Local food sales are expected to increase to a market value of $20 billion in 2019.”
Recognizing this trend, over $1 billion has been invested in regional farming operations. Some of that money has gone toward infrastructure and training farmers.
Why storage is needed
If predictions from the USDA hold true, farmers will need to meet the growing demand from consumers. In turn, they will need more equipment and materials to ensure farming operations meet demands.
In the foreseeable future, farming operations will benefit from using mobile storage containers to store valuable equipment on their land. With this program’s help from the USDA, farmers will have an easier time obtaining these portable storage units.