Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America (ECORA) Act
What’s the Issue?
Farmers need credit to increase productivity and efficiency. They rely on loans to pay for operational expenses such as seeds, fertilizer and equipment, as well as to buy or refinance land. Unfortunately, rural Americans are finding it increasingly more difficult to acquire credit for real estate and agricultural loans due to a decline in net farm income.
Having fewer loan options can threaten a farm’s survival. When small and beginning farmers in rural areas are unable to access loans to invest in their farms, they can miss out on opportunities and become trapped in a cycle of low productivity, low yields and poor income.
What Would ECORA Do?
With net farm income declining since 2013, farmers and ranchers will need more help in acquiring credit for agricultural and real estate. Congress has introduced legislation – The ECORA Act – which would promote greater access to credit and reduce borrowing costs for qualified borrowers. How? When a bank provides an agricultural real estate loan to a farmer or rancher, the interest earned from that loan would be exempt from taxes. This would mean lower interest rates for farmers and ranchers and help more borrowers qualify for loans .
What Can I Do?
Congress should support the growth of the agricultural sector by making sure that farmers and ranchers have access to sustained credit and cash flow they need. Contact your lawmakers and urge them to co-sponsor and support the ECORA Act (H.R. 1872 and S. 1641) and help expand access to credit to rural borrowers.