Banker Op-Ed: Ag Lenders Ready to Help in Tough Times

America’s agricultural bankers stand ready to help farmers and ranchers as concerns rise about low commodity prices and available liquidity, Iowa banker Michael Hein wrote in an op-ed in Agri-Pulse today. Hein is VP at Liberty Trust and Savings Bank in Durant, Iowa, and chairman of the American Bankers Association’s Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee.

“After many years of prudent management, agricultural banks have strong balance sheets that allow them to help those in distress,” Hein wrote. “Through the prudent use of techniques like loan restructuring, collateral enhancements, USDA loan guarantees and frequent visits to our customers, bankers can assist most of our clients in weathering a downturn.”

Hein urged borrowers to contact their lenders proactively to address potential financial problems. “The agricultural banking industry stands ready to help the farmers and ranchers of America in challenging times,” he said. “Be proactive in reaching out to your lender after preparing your plan and budget to discuss your strategy for weathering the downturn, and we will work to assist as many farmers and ranchers as possible.”