The U.S. Department of Agriculture loaned more than $470 million directly to Midwestern farmers in fiscal year 2021, according to data obtained from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
The direct farm operating loans, which max out at $400,000 per borrower, can be used to purchase livestock, equipment, feed and other essential inputs. In addition to direct loans, FSA also offers guaranteed loans with higher limits that involve third-party lenders. The data obtained by Investigate Midwest is for direct farm operating loans only.
Nebraskan farmers borrowed the most out of all the states, receiving more than $100 million in loans. Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota and Kansas were also in the top 10 in loans received.
In total, FSA lent more than $1 billion to U.S. farmers through its direct farm operating loan program last year.
Top image: Corn harvest begins on the Ken Dalenberg farm north of Mansfield, Illinois, on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. photo by Darrell Hoemann, Investigate Midwest