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Farmer Mac

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American farmers confront a mental health crisis

In 2018, the number of calls rose 109 percent to 1,034, increasing in the last five months of the year. In November, crisis assistance accounted for 78 percent of contacts to the hotline.

"The peak of the crisis was in 1986," said Allen Featherstone, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University in Manhattan. "It is the worst since then by far."

Mike Rosmann, another of the few mental health counselors in rural America, echoed the sentiments. A partially retired fourth-generation farmer, Rosmann rents out his Iowa property and maintains land under the conservation reserve program.

During the 1980s' farm crisis, the hotlines, counseling and other services that he participated in became the template for the provisions in the farm bill that Baldwin and Ernst advocated for, he said.

"The retaliatory tariffs by China have hurt soybean exports," Rosmann said. "They've hurt our relations with other countries as well to a lesser extent, partly just because of the skepticism that surrounds the reliability of what the U.S. is doing.

FCA board approves final rule on Farmer Mac investment eligibility


Quarterly Report on Conditions in Agriculture and the Farm Credit System
The FCA board also received a quarterly report on economic issues affecting agriculture and an update on the financial condition and performance of the Farm Credit System as of June 30, 2018. Favorable economic growth in the domestic and global markets continues to drive agricultural demand. However, farm profitability continues to be impacted by several factors. For soybean and hog producers, retaliatory tariffs have hampered exports, causing margins to slip. Milk prices are lower than they were a year earlier, which is putting pressure on dairy producers, and drought in the Southwest continues to hurt cattle producers. Also, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the federal funds rate two more times in 2018. The rate increases will put additional stress on farm cash flows and liquidity levels. For the first six months of 2018, the System reported strong earnings and increased capital.

Where to get a Farmer Mac loan?

We are looking to secure financing through the Farmer Mac program for our part-time farm in NW Arkansas. Any suggestions for banks providing these loans?


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