Hawaii & Pacific Basin USDA Farm Service Agency February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016

Hawaii & Pacific Basin Masthead USDA
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Table of Contents

Click here to read the complete Hawaii and Pacific Basin online newsletter >>

Diane's Comments

Greetings Everyone,

An atypically strong El Nino has been driving drought conditions throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Basin, with the exception of American Samoa. In somewhat measured good news from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and associated partner entities it is postulated that El Nino has peaked and in 2016 there will be “…a slow decline towards neutral conditions…” However, NOAA goes on to note that “… many islands will continue to feel the effects of El Nino throughout much of 2016.”

What can you do if your operation is impacted by drought? First, routinely and fully document any changes in production and any additional expenses such as the purchase of water or animal feed. Next stay tuned to Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) monthly e-newsletter and bulletins for any announcements regarding disaster relief as program triggers are reached. Finally make an appointment with your local FSA County Office Farm Programs or Farm Loan Program staff to discuss your options to best manage your business’ risks.

Diane L. Ley, State Executive Director
USDA Farm Service Agency Hawaii & Pacific Basin

Hawaii & Pacific Basin FSA State Office

PJKK Federal Building
P.O. Box 50065
300 Ala Moana Blvd, Rm 5-108
Honolulu, HI 96850

Phone: 808-541-2600
FAX: 855-356-9493

State Executive Director:
Diane Ley

Chief Program Specialist:
Steve Peterson

Chief, Farm Loan Program:
Steve Bazzell

Upcoming County Committee Meetings:

Hawaii County Committee
April 18, 2016 at 8:30am

Honolulu County Committee
March 18, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Maui County Committee
March 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

Kauai County Committee
March 17, 2016 at 10:00 am

Guam County Committee
April 13, 2016 at 9:00 am

CNMI County Committee
April 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Contact the County Office to confirm meeting date and time, as budget constraints may limit the County Committee's ability to meet each month. 

Click here for a list of County Offices, contact numbers and addresses.

Website for Hawaii and Pacific Basin FSA:


Microloans to Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

Farm Service Agency (FSA) now offers farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning and minority farmers, veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.

The Microloan Program, which celebrates its third anniversary this month, has been hugely successful, providing more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of these loans have gone to new farmers.

Now, microloans are available to help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. Farm Service Agency designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from FSA.

This microloan announcement is another USDA resource for farmers and ranchers to utilize, especially as new and beginning farmers and ranchers look for the assistance they need to get started. To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans, or contact your local FSA County Office.


Farm Storage Facility Loans

Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Farm Storage Facility Loan program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities.

These low-interest loans can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities including fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, grains, peanuts, hay, honey, renewable biomass, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement and some loans between $50,000 and $100,000 do not require additional security.  Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers and operations supplying local food and farmers markets.

Click on the link to learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan or contact your local FSA County Office.