Fourteen organizations have expressed support for legislation that would ensure farmers and ranchers continue to have access to the USDA loan guarantees.

USDA’s Farm Service Administration may guarantee a portion of a commercial lender’s loan to a farmer, which helps make agricultural credit available to producers who would not otherwise meet the lender’s loan criteria.

Farmers that were eligible for commercial credit just last year “are not eligible for commercial loans without government guarantees today,” Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl said. A farmer’s inability to receive a commercial loan often “is due to circumstances beyond a producer’s control.”

The coalition believes that “the 2008 farm bill’s existing (FSA loan guarantee) eligibility rules should be maintained throughout the life of the farm bill.”

The 2008 farm bill suspended borrower term limits on FSA guaranteed farm-loan programs through the end of this year. Without additional congressional action, however, those term limits would resume on Jan. 1, 2011, “immediately making many farmers and ranchers ineligible for additional credit through these programs,” the coalition wrote.

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Missouri Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond have cosponsored Kohl’s bill.