Early Options Available for Farms to Support Cash Flow
American Farmland Trust, a national organization dedicated to keeping our rural lands in agricultural production, has announced their “Farmer Relief Fund” initiative. This program will offer direct-market producers cash grants of $1,000 each to help ease the effect of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus. This can include the closure of farmers markets, decreased or interrupted sales to restaurants and institutional buyers, or to makers who use farm products as inputs. The deadline to apply is April 23rd with grants awarded by May 1st. For more information, visit farmland.org/farmer-relief-fund.
The CARES Act’s recent Paycheck Protection Loan Program announcement will also provide emergency funding to farms via Small Business Administration loans. This low interest, forgivable loan program will be available starting April 3rd to cover payroll costs, utilities, mortgage interest, and/or rent. Farm owners should work with their existing lenders, if they are participating in the PPL program, to determine their eligibility and complete the expedited application. For more information on this program, visit sba.gov. Please note that this is a very recent development that continues to be solidified. Elizabeth Higgins, Ag Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Horticulture Team, recently wrote a summary of this program that is available by visiting swnydlfc.cce.cornell.edu.
This situation can bring a lot of stress and anxiety for farm owners and managers. It is important to remember that managing and addressing risks early on, rather than avoiding them, will provide decision makers more time to make sound action plans to manage cash flow and long term profitability. The only way to make accurate decisions is to know the farm’s current financial situation which will involve record-keeping and business analysis. For more information on creating financial statements for your farm, contact your lender or Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist. Additionally, NY FarmNet recently released a helpful guide to “Managing Financial Stress on the Farm in Uncertain Times” and their consultants are available for free and confidential financial and personal counselling. For more information, call 1-800-547-3276 or visit nyfarmnet.org.
For more information about any of these programs, updated lists of resources, assistance with your farm’s financial plans, or for access to materials without having a reliable internet connect, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist, at 716-640-0522 or [email protected]
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program specialists are here to help provide research-based resources and support during this challenging time. Their team of four specialists include Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management (716-640-0522 or [email protected]); Joshua Putman, Field Crops (716-490-5572 or [email protected]); Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management (517-416-0386 or [email protected]); and Amy Barkley, Livestock Management (716-640-0844 or [email protected]). While specialists are working remotely at this time, they are still offering consultations via phone, text, email, videoconferencing, and mail. They are also providing weekly updates with timely resources and connections via email and hardcopy and virtual programming. To be added to their notification list, or for more information, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Team Leader, at 716-640- 0522, [email protected] or visit their website swnydlfc.cornell.edu.
The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program is the newest Cornell Cooperative Extension regional program and covers Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Steuben Counties. The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops regional specialists work with Cornell faculty and Extension educators to address the issues that influence the agricultural industry in New York by offering educational programming and research based information to agricultural producers, growers, and agribusinesses in the Southwestern New York Region. Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. For more information about this program, or to be added to their contact list, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Team Leader, at 716-640-0522, [email protected], or visit their website swnydlfc.cornell.edu.