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Cold storage facilities eligible for USDA loans

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Farm Storage Facility Loan program has been amended to allow producers to build cold storage facilities to store their fresh fruits and vegetables.

This program is part of USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative and uses discretionary authority provided by the 2008 Farm Bill authorizing the eligibility of cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.

“Expanding the Farm Storage Facility Loan program will provide our nation’s fruit and vegetable producers with new storage and marketing opportunities,” Vilsack said. “On-farm storage may cost a lot to build, but it can help farmers to maximize profits. USDA’s program will help these producers to finance the purchase, construction, or refurbishment of these important farm storage facilities.”

To be eligible, cold storage facilities must have a useful life of 15 years and include:

•New structures suitable for a cold storage facility.

•New walk-in, prefabricated, permanently installed coolers suitable for storing fresh fruits and vegetables.

•New permanently affixed cooling, circulating, and monitoring equipment.

•Electrical equipment integral to the proper operation of a cold storage facility.

•Must be an addition or modification to an existing storage facility.

USDA will not make cold storage facility loans for portable structures, portable handling and cooling equipment, used or pre-owned structures or cooling equipment, or structures not suitable for a fresh fruits and vegetables’ cold storage facility.

The maximum loan amount for a Farm Storage Facility loan is $500,000 per loan. One partial disbursement of up to half the anticipated total cost is available when that portion of the structure has been completed. The final disbursement will be made when the entire structure has been completed and inspected by a USDA representative.

All Farm Storage Facility Loans require a down payment of at least 15%. Applications must be approved before construction can begin. Loan terms of seven, 10, or 12 years are available depending on the amount of the loan.

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