State Rep. Graham Filler and the Michigan House today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.
Filler, of DeWitt, said the plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.
“This spring has been one of the rainiest in Michigan’s history. It has absolutely devastated local crop farmers,” said Filler, a strong advocate for farmers. “This loan program will help struggling farmers get by until brighter days return.”
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.