USDA announces the maturity of a 12 month extended loan term for Marketing Assistance loans

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As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act 2020, agricultural producers now have more time to repay Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL). The loans now have a maturity of 12 months instead of nine months, and that flexibility is available for most commodities.

“Spring is the time of year when most producers have the greatest need for capital and many have or are considering borrowing raw materials. The extension of the term of the commodity loan gives farmers more time to market their commodities and repay their loan at a later date, ”said US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We are very excited that the USDA can offer this marketing flexibility at this critical time for the agricultural industry and the country.”

Effective immediately, manufacturers of eligible raw materials now have up to 12 months to repay their raw material loans. The term extension applies to non-recourse loans for crop years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Eligible outstanding loans must be applied for in good condition with a due date of March 31, 2020 or later, or loans for new crop years (2019 or 2020) by September 30. 2020. All new loans applied for by September 30, 2020 will have a term of 12 months from the date of approval.

The term extension for current, active loans is automatically extended by a further 3 months. Loans due on March 31st have already been automatically renewed by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers who prefer a nine month loan should contact their local FSA county office. Loans applied for after September 30, 2020 have a term of nine months.

The permitted raw materials include barley, chickpeas (small and large), corn, cotton (highland and extra long staple), dry peas, grain millet, honey, lentils, mohair, oats, peanuts, rice (long and medium grain), soybeans, unsheared Hides, wheat, wool (sorted and unsorted); and other oil seeds including canola, crab, flax seeds, mustard seeds, rapeseed, thistle, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Seed cotton and sugar are not eligible.

About MALs

The granting of credits for raw materials offers producers bridge financing to meet cash flow needs without having to sell their raw materials at low market prices, and enables producers to store production for orderly marketing of the raw materials year-round .

These loans are considered non-recourse as the goods are pledged as collateral and manufacturers have the option to deliver the pledged collateral to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to repay the outstanding loan when due.

MAL repayment

According to the new term regulations, producers can still repay the loan as before the extension:

  • repay the MAL on or before the due date;
  • when due by delivery or forfeiture of the goods to CCC as loan repayment; or
  • after the due date and before CCC acquires the goods stored in the yard by repayment of the outstanding MAL principle and the interest.

Marketing Loan Profits

A marketing loan gain occurs when a MAL is repaid for less than the loan amount. If a market profit is generated during the now extended loan term, the producers can receive a profit from the repayment before the loan matures.

For more information on MALs, contact the FSA County Office closest to you. USDA service centers, including FSA county offices, are only open for business by phone appointment, and fieldwork continues with reasonable social distancing. While the program suppliers continue to come into the office, they will work with the producers over the phone, using online tools where possible. All service center visitors who wish to do business with the FSA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other service center agency must call their service center to schedule a telephone appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus for more information.

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