MI House Bill Could Provide Relief to Farmers
06/24/2019- Michigan legislators are stepping in to assist farmers who are struggling with this year’s wet conditions. The House recently approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by the spring’s record-setting rain. According to Representative Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain, the plan would aid private lenders in providing low-interest loans to qualified farmers. LaFave says crop farmers, processors, and other agriculture-related businesses in the UP have been devastated this season and adds the program introduced will help stabilize the finances of Michigan’s second-largest economic industry. Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted. 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.