The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that its sponsors say will provide relief to farmers facing rising costs due to inflation.
Sens sponsors. Jerry Cirino, R-Kirtland, and Michael Rulli, R-Salem, said the bill removes the cap on individual loans to farmers under the Agriculture-Linked Deposit Program, or Ag-LINK for short. .
This program helps farmers and agribusinesses finance initial operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel and other expenses by providing interest rate reductions on new or existing with eligible financial institutions. Currently, farmers and agribusinesses can benefit from an interest rate reduction of up to 3% on new or existing operating loans up to $150,000.
“At a time when farmers are facing increasing costs to run their business and borrowing has become more difficult, this bill would provide much-needed relief to our agricultural industry,” Cirino said.
Rulli said that while working on this bill, he heard from farmers about the rising costs of agricultural resources.
“For example, a ton of nitrogen fertilizer sold for $160 a ton last year now costs $530 a ton,” he said. “Herbicides have doubled in price.”
The bill, SB 241, also adds agricultural cooperatives as eligible Ag-LINK borrowers.
In addition, the bill expands the types of bonds in which the state treasurer can invest interim funds. Cirino and Rulli said this opportunity will result in lower borrowing costs for Ohio hospitals and increased credit for public universities in states that choose to use such a partnership.
“These cost savings will help many institutions focus their financial resources on their core missions of serving customers, patients and students,” Cirino said.
The bill now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.