USDA to provide loans for precision agriculture technology

20-09 | |
A farmer in Maryland is applying fertilizer using GPS. - Photo: AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski
A farmer in Maryland is applying fertilizer using GPS. - Photo: AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

The Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Act. is to create a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide loan financing to farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing precision agriculture equipment.

The PAL Act would establish the Precision Agriculture Loan program within USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The program would offer low-cost and long-term loans to agriculture producers who want to adopt precision agriculture technologies but can’t afford to through traditional financing.

Interest rates lower than 2 percent

It would be the first federal loan program dedicated entirely to precision agriculture. Instead of paying upwards of 5 percent in interest, producers would be eligible for interest rates lower than 2 percent through the new program with loan terms from 3 to 12 years in length. These loans would cover any precision agriculture technology that improves efficiency or reduces inputs.

Whether this interest rate break guarantee will have a widespread impact remains to be seen. It will however be useful for larger farms already able and prepared to make large investments in precision agriculture technology.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming
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