The Administrator for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is in Iowa this week. Val Dolcini is speaking to the National Association for State and County Office Convention in Cedar Rapids. There are nearly 2,200 county offices around the country, 90 are in Iowa.
With the declining farm prices. and a softening ag economy, times are tough for farmers and busy for the FSA. The FSA is in charge of farm credit or operating loans.
But right now, the operating loan funds in the direct and guaranteed programs are used up.
Dolcini says they are working to get money back into those programs, "We do have plenty of money on the ownership side, so our offices are talking with interested farmers around Iowa and elsewhere to see if we can address their real estate needs. But these are challenging times, and I think most farmers that have a relationship with FSA. Maybe current borrowers today want to come in and talk about servicing and restructuring. Some may want to talk about new credit needs so that's what we're here for and FSA is definitely here to help Iowa's farmers."
Dolcini also talked about the ARC and PLC farm payment programs, now two years old. He says the signup process is nearly 100 percent done for Iowa, which wrapped up last week.
He says he thinks it's going to be a big year for payments, "The USDA safety net is as strong as it's ever been and it's programs like ARK and PLC, our credit programs and our dairy programs and conservation programs and the like that really provide that economic underpinning for rural communities all over the state."