Program addresses short- and long-term financial needs when rebuilding after a disaster
Omaha (September 15, 2020) - Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) has submitted more than 2,700 crop insurance claims on behalf of customer-owners and activated its disaster assistance financing program to help Iowa’s agricultural producers in the wake of the derecho storm.
“In response to one of the worst natural disasters Iowa has ever seen, we’ve mobilized our resources to provide the most comprehensive Disaster Assistance Program in our cooperative’s history,” said Jim Knuth, senior vice president for FCSAmerica’s lending and insurance teams in Iowa.
FCSAmerica’s Disaster Assistance Program offers flexible, specially priced loan options to current customers operating in counties that have been declared disaster areas by federal or state authorities. Customers in other areas who are impacted by extreme weather-related adversities are eligible for disaster assistance on a case-by-case determination.
Designed to help producers move forward, the program addresses both immediate cash-flow and longer-term working capital needs. It also provides specialized loans for the replacement of infrastructure or breeding livestock. “The program allows us to customize a recovery solution for each customer based on their unique needs,” Knuth said.
Nearly 6,000 agricultural operations in the derecho disaster area have a lending relationship with FCSAmerica. The company’s financial officers are working one-on-one with those affected to help them develop plans for recovery.
Iowa’s agriculture industry suffered an estimated $3.8 billion in damage from derecho’s hurricane-force winds on August 10, 2020. FCSAmerica’s crop insurance agents were in contact with impacted customers in the immediate aftermath of the storm and continue to answer questions about claims as producers get into the fields for harvest and learn more about the extent of damage.
“For those impacted by the derecho, the focus on profitability at the start of the growing season has shifted to recovering some of their losses. Inevitably, there will be financial gaps,” said Tim Koch, chief credit officer for FCSAmerica. “That is why FCSAmerica has a Disaster Assistance Program for events like the derecho. The program puts our financial strength to work for our customers to give them the resources they need to rebuild for the 2021 growing season and beyond.”
Knuth added, “From processing thousands of crop insurance claims to providing customized financial recovery solutions, Farm Credit Services of America has the agricultural knowledge and expertise to help producers build a plan to move forward. Having served agriculture for more than 100 years, we are certain of one thing – the industry will recover and we will be there to help.”
In addition to activating its Disaster Assistance Program, FCSAmerica has donated $100,000 to derecho relief efforts. The following four non-profit organizations have each received a share of the contribution: Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc., American Red Cross Iowa Region, Iowa Food Bank and United Way of Eastern Central Iowa.
About Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Credit Services of America is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With nearly $32.3 billion in assets and $6.1 billion in members’ equity, FCSAmerica is one of the region’s leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at fcsamerica.com.