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. In 2019 Congress introduced legislation- The ECORA Act- that 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 Congress Do?
Congress needs to do everything they can to help farmers and ranchers do more with less income. ECORA will immediately provide a pathway to increasing income for farmers and ranchers.
Helping farmers and ranchers obtain low cost credit is a bipartisan priority. The next step is for lawmakers to hold congressional committee hearings on the value of ECORA to farmers and ranchers and give financial institutions the opportunity to explain the benefits of this legislation.