Davis Schaad, acting executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in California today announced the loan limit for its Guaranteed Loan Program has been increased to $1,112,000, effective Oct. 1. The limit is adjusted annually based on the "Prices Paid to Farmers Index," compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

“The increased limit will enhance the agency's ability to meet the credit needs of farmers and ranchers throughout the country. In California and in other regions where ag property values are so high, this additional lending capability will be extremely helpful,” said Schaad.

The Guaranteed Loan Program allows commercial and farm credit lenders to extend credit to qualified applicants, who otherwise would not meet their standard lending criteria. Participating lenders can use the Guaranteed Loan Program to strengthen a loan's viability through a guarantee of up to 95 percent of the loan amount. Farmers interested in guaranteed loans should apply through a conventional lender.

FSA also offers the Direct Loan Program as an alternative for those unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources. Direct farm loans are government-funded, and made by FSA. The loan limit for loans under the Direct Program is $300,000 (except for Emergency Loans). Farmers interested in applying for a direct loan should contact their local FSA office. To find an FSA office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.