Farmers seeking a farm ownership or direct operating loans should submit their loan application packets early, says Henry English, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff small farm director.

“This increases the applicant's chances of being funded,” says English. “If there's a shortage of funds, the early applicants are more likely to get loans.”

English advises farmers to pick up their loan application packets at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) immediately.

Completed applications should be submitted as soon as possible to receive funds early (in February). FSA has 30 days from the date that a completed application is submitted to make a determination, but FSA tries to come to a decision in 10 or 12 days.

“Since the packet contains a number of forms, it's easy to overlook something,” says English.

“Farmers should check their packets carefully to be sure they have included all requested information.”

As a part of the Risk Management Education Program at UAPB, Extension associates/small farm advisors are ready to help farmers with their loan application packets.

Farmers in their respective counties can contact the following advisors for assistance:

  • Jefferson, Lincoln, Desha and Pulaski counties — Henry English 870-575-7226.
  • Phillips, Lee, Arkansas and Monroe counties — Arlanda Jacobs 870-572-2966.
  • St. Francis, Woodruff and Crittenden counties — Carolyn Prowell 870-633-2320.
  • Chicot, Ashley, Drew and Desha counties — Janet Breckenridge 870-295-5211.