A new Bank of North Dakota loan program for farmers hit by poor crop production and low prices is off to a slower-than-expected start.
The Industrial Commission authorized the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to begin the Farm Financial Stability Loan Program on Dec. 1. Up to $300 million is available for farmers to replenish working capital or restructure debts.
Bank President Eric Hardmeyer tells The Bismarck Tribune that only 22 loans have been issued so far, with the bank's share about $8.3 million.
Hardmeyer isn't concerned by the slow start. He attributes it to the launch in December, when farmers are finishing up their year-end numbers. He expects the program to pick up steam as farmers begin planning for the upcoming crop year.
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