Rep Whiteford approves plan to help Allegan County farmers devastated by record

first_img The Michigan House and Rep. Whiteford 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.“Day after day of rainfall this spring has been annoying for most of us, but it’s devastating for Michigan farmers and agribusinesses who depend on a successful farming season to make a living and provide for their families,” said Whiteford, of Casco Township. “This plan provides the necessary support to allow hard-working farmers to survive this unfortunate season.”Because Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring, 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.Whiteford also joined a coalition of 63 lawmakers urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase flexibility under the Federal Crop Insurance rules. Increased flexibility would allow farmers to plant on land normally prohibited by federal crop insurance rules, allowing for more crops to get to market and be raised for feed for a farmer’s livestock. Full text of the letter and its signatories can be found here.##### Categories: Whiteford News 20Jun Rep. Whiteford approves plan to help Allegan County farmers devastated by record rainlast_img

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