Farmers say supply glut threatens crop harvests
More than 4 million acres of corn and soybeans are expected to be planted this year in the U.S., down about 1 percent from 2016.
That’s not good news for farmers.
But while farmers may have little incentive to cut back, the federal government can help them.
The USDA is offering incentives to help growers find and purchase the equipment they need to meet the growing demand for their crops, according to Farmers Business Alliance President and CEO Michael Bekkema.
Agricultural equipment is a critical part of the agriculture system, Bekkerma said.
“We want to ensure that our farmers have the best possible tools to help them get the job done,” he said.
The USDA offers two incentives for farmers to get their hands on these equipment: A $2,500 grant for the first year and a $5,000 grant for every subsequent year. Bekkermas gives farmers the option to apply for grants for the two-year and three-year grants.
Both are available through the USDA website.
For each grant, the USDA will pay for up to 50 percent of the purchase price of the equipment.
So if you need a tractor, you can get one at a price that’s competitive with other tractor purchases.
Other incentives are offered to help farmers keep their equipment and keep up with the growing crop.
If you have a farm that is growing soybeans, for example, the program provides an extra $200 in payments for the cost of seed.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization also offers grants to help offset the cost to farmers of buying and installing equipment to meet demand for food.
This program is called the Farm-to-Consumer Farm and Food Access Fund.
It provides grants of up to $2.5 million for up-front purchases of equipment, including seeds, seedlings and feed.
You can apply online at agri-export.org and apply in writing to the USDA.
To apply, you’ll need to be a registered U.s. farmer and be eligible to receive a grant.