By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Twenty-eight borrowers in Alcorn County have a total outstanding loan amount of more than $1.5 million from USDA farm loan programs, the agency said.
The average outstanding amount per borrower is about $54,884.
Corinth Today obtained the loan information through a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the USDA Farm Service Agency.
Of the outstanding amount in Alcorn County, $955,815 is from direct USDA farm loans to 26 borrowers.
The other $580,944 is from guaranteed loans to two borrowers, the USDA said. The guaranteed loans allow farmers to obtain financing from USDA-approved commercial lenders for reasonable terms. This allows banks to receive additional loan business and also have the safety net of the USDA guaranteeing the loans for up to 95 percent in case of loss.
The direct USDA farm loans are financed and serviced by the agency, and the money comes from Congressional appropriations.
Nationally, the amount of USDA farm loans almost hit a record in 2017, the agency said. Farmers accessed a total of $6 billion in new credit from direct and guaranteed loans, the agency said.
At the end of last year, the agency was helping more than 120,000 farmers with total loans exceeding $25 billion.
“FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years,” said Dr. Robert Johansson in a USDA statement. “We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain commercial credit, to help them get started, gain access to land and grow their operations. Family farmers across America also come to us for credit when they face challenges to stay in business. We’re proud to support rural prosperity by providing credit to those who need it most.”