AUSTIN, Texas — A drought that’s been gripping Iowa’s agriculture industry for more than a year has left many farmers struggling to find new sources of revenue to feed their families and businesses.
But many farmers are also finding that many other ways to make money, like agribusiness loan repayments, have also been cut off, leaving them in financial limbo.
Iowa’s agri business loan program, which allows farmers to make a loan to cover the cost of their crop damage, was one of the most successful programs in the nation last year.
More than 1.1 million Iowa farmers received loans in the first three months of this year, according to the Iowa Farm Bureau.
The crop damage loan program was used to cover more than $2 billion in damages from the 2015 Iowa drought, which affected crops in the southern parts of the state.
More: Iowa farmers can use the loan program to make payments to pay for crops damaged in the drought, including crop damage payments to farmers who have lost crops.
“A lot of farmers, they don’t have a lot of other options,” said John Cates, an Iowa farm and agri operations manager.
“We know that a lot are out of business.
A lot of people are in a very tough situation.”
Agri-Banking and Agri-Food Loan programs also were a big hit last year, helping to cover about $2.2 billion worth of crop damage.
Agri Business Loans, which provides loan payments to some farmers who don’t use their loan program for crop damage or other losses, also was a huge success last year at covering more than half of crop damages in Iowa.
But, the loan programs are not available to farmers without the crop damage program.
The Iowa Farm Bank said that most farmers who applied for loan repayMENTS to cover crop damage were turned away.
The agency said it has identified a handful of Iowa farmers that were eligible to use the loans.
Some Iowa farmers say the lack of other ways of making money has made them desperate for cash.
“I had one of my best crops in four years and it’s gone, and I’ve had no income in a month,” said Jim Miller, a dairy farmer who lost his crop this year.
“People can’t even get the bills paid,” Miller added.
The drought has also impacted farmers who sell their produce.
Cates said some farmers, especially in Iowa’s southern parts, are unable to sell their crop to wholesalers because they don.
The Agriculture Department has said that farmers who do sell their crops to wholesaler have been able to make extra payments to the loan payments that were already on their farm.
“We know it’s not going to be enough,” Cates added.
“So if we don’t get it, we’ll have to look elsewhere for money.”
The drought forced farmers to borrow to cover damage from the previous crop, and to help cover the expenses of the crop.
The USDA’s Farm Credit Program, which was created in the 1990s, was meant to provide loan payments and financial assistance to help farmers cover crop damages.
But in recent years, it has been targeted by farmers who were hurt by the previous drought, like Cates.
Agri Business Loan Program has helped some farmers make their loans pay for their crop damages, but Cates says it’s been cut short by the drought.
“It’s kind of been cut back a little bit,” he said.
“They’re just making more loans, and it has a lot to do with people getting out of the farm and moving to places where they can get the money.”
For many farmers, the only way to keep their farm operating is to pay off their crop losses, or pay back their loan payments.
“The way I see it is, if you’re a farmer, if the crop goes up, you can still get your crop,” Miller said.
But not everyone is happy with that.
Cates said that the drought has forced many farmers to take out loans that they couldn’t afford before.
He said that he owes more than twice as much on his crop damage loans as he did before the drought started.
“All of my loans are either over the credit limit or I have some kind of non-payment that I’m still having trouble with,” he explained.
“So it’s a pretty tough situation.
We can’t continue to run a business.”