The Michigan House and Rep. Joe Bellino today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.
The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.
“Our state is one that is known for its agriculture industry, but this spring Michigan has been known for lots of rainy days. The two don’t mix, and we need a solution to help our many farmers who have been impacted by this devastation in southeast Michigan this year,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “This proposal provides needed and deserved support to our hard-working farmers, giving them financial stability and allowing them to get by in tough times.”
Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.
House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.
Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.
Bellino also recently joined House colleagues in submitting a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture regarding federal support. Full text of the letter and its signatories can be found here.