The Michigan House and Rep. Jack O’Malley 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.
“Amid one of the worst growing seasons in history, this program would provide much-needed financial support to our farmers,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “Record rainfall has left Michigan’s farmers unable to plant, leaving those who drive our state’s second-largest economic sector hanging in the balance. This plan provides the support necessary to help hard-working farmers make it through this tough year.”
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.