ABA Urges Congress to Address FSA Loan Shortfall

ABA and other agricultural trade associations wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees on agriculture today asking lawmakers to include additional funding for the Farm Service Agency’s farm loan programs in the FY 2017 budget bill. The FSA is currently facing an estimated $215 million shortfall in operating loans, creating a backlog that could delay applications from any new borrowers that apply for funding after Oct. 1.

With the current fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through December, before passing a final appropriations bill for FY 2017. The groups pointed out that if Congress fails to include language in the continuing resolution to address the shortfall, “FSA will likely run out of money during the CR period, just when farmers need the program the most.” They further requested that the Congress increase funding for direct and guaranteed operating loans in the final FY 2017 spending bill to address both the applications carried over from 2016 and the increased demand predicted for the upcoming year.