Over the last year, the cost of fertilizer, seeds, fuel and farming equipment have all risen sharply, creating major challenges for U.S. farmers and impacting net farm income. Meanwhile, supply chain issues, long-term drought and ongoing labor shortages have compounded issues.
To cover rising costs, farmers will need to borrow. However, many are reporting challenges with finding banks that will lend them money, especially for smaller operations.
Currently, over half of the ag operating loans are generated by the Farm Credit System, a network of only 67 lenders. Meanwhile, there are over 5,200 credit unions nationwide but only a handful that generate ag loans.
So why are more credit unions not tapping into ag lending? They are in a key position to not only help local farmers but also move into a new lending space that is currently underserved.
In this issue of Credit Union Times, Jim O’Brien explains how credit unions can tap into ag lending by simplifying ag lending risk, accelerating loan decisioning and digitizing the borrower experience.
Check out the full article here!