The mortgage crisis and economic upheaval have made it harder for individuals and small businesses to secure loans. Amanda Vinicky reports on an effort to help ensure that farmers affected by the drought can get one.
[.mp3 – :56]
The drought could mean that farmers will be pouring into banks, looking for loans.
Illinois Finance Authority Director Chris Meister says it’s too early to tell now – farmers are busy harvesting the crops they have.
But Meister says he expects in coming weeks that will change.
MEISTER: “Everything that we’ve been hearing is that the magnitude of this year’s drought is really going to be unlike anything since the 1950s and as a result … Illinois needs to be prepared.”
Meister says the Finance Authority – a quasi governmental body – is working to get banks on board with a program designed during the last major drought, in the ’80s.
It’s designed to encourage banks to lend to farmers, by backing up their loans.
Meister says historically, the default rate in drought relief programs has been low.
But he says the Authority is prepared if this drought lasts beyond this year.
I’m Amanda Vinicky.