Fruit growers are reminded that loans under the Agriculture Loan Origination Program (HB 5717) must be completed with lenders by March 31, 2013.
The loan program was signed into law June 26 to help the state’s fruit industry, crippled by unprecedented weather conditions that handed the state’s fruit sector historic losses in 2012.
The relief measure makes those with qualified losses eligible for 1-percent loans of up to $400,000 for individual farmers; $800,000 for individual processors and handlers; and $1 million for processors with multiple locations. The loans ultimately come from private lenders, who will determine eligibility based on the percentage of loss to the producer or processor.
The state’s $15 million appropriation will support lenders by partially reimbursing administrative costs, equal to 5 percent of the loan principle. By partially underwriting those costs, the state appropriation makes available a total loan pool of up to $300 million.
Farmers and handlers interested in taking advantage of the program should contact their lenders soon. Lenders will evaluate loan applications on a first-come-first serve basis and on individual credit criteria. All loans must be closed by March 31, 2013.