The future of corn crops is not in sight, but there is a bright spot in the corn belt: the U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a new program to help farmers develop crops that could feed the nation.
The Farm Credit Development Program (FDC) is a new federal program that will offer loans to farmers who are developing a corn-based crop for sale to consumers.
The FDC is intended to help them expand their business and become more productive, according to the USDA’s website.
The FDC will help these farmers develop a variety of new and improved varieties of corn and wheat to feed the needs of consumers, farmers, and food processors.
“Farmers are often left out of the conversation when we talk about corn’s potential,” said Kevin Kallinen, FDC program director.
“The FRC is designed to provide these farmers with the tools they need to realize the full potential of corn as a food source.”
Farmers who have already secured the support of the FDC can apply for the program, and they’ll get a loan that will be matched with up to $5,000 in federal and state agricultural aid, which is aimed at helping them expand into new markets.
The loan will be repaid with the crop and the farmer’s production will be monitored.
The goal is to create an entire crop to feed consumers, Kallinisen said.
He hopes the program will help other farmers in their quest to produce a variety that’s better suited for consumers.
“It will also provide a buffer to the farmers in need,” he said.
Farmers can use the loan to grow corn for up to five years and the USDA will provide a loan, insurance, and crop insurance.
The program also has an annual maximum limit of $50,000, and farmers can only borrow the maximum of $3,500 for five years.
The USDA will also pay a portion of the loan, but farmers will have to repay that portion after they receive their crop, which could take as long as five years, according the USDA.
To apply for a loan and pay off the loan within that time, farmers will need to be certified by the FRC, Kassinen said.
They will also need to prove their farm operations are producing corn that meets their needs, as well as meet the USDA requirements for safety, security, and pest management.
If they’re approved, the farmer will then need to submit a crop inspection report, which will be sent to the FPC.
If they meet all of the requirements, the FCD can help with planting, processing, storage, and marketing the crop, according a statement from the USDA, which noted that the program was created to help with the “complex task of transitioning to new and different varieties of crops.”