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New loan program connects environmental conservation and financial performance of agriculture

New loan program connects environmental conservation and financial performance of agriculture

The Environmental Defense Fund has partnered with Farmers Business Network, an agriculture technology and finance company, to offer one of the first U.S. farm loan programs. This loan will provide farmers who meet climate, water quality, and other requirements with lower interest rates and agronomic insight to increase the conservation benefits on the farm.

FBN pilots $25 million Regenerative Agriculture Finance FundFBN is recruiting 30-40 farmers that grow a combination of wheat, soybeans, or corn. FBN is currently recruiting participants from its network with more than 33,000 farmers members. The fund plans to prove and expand the concept over the next several years. It will also connect data on farm environment performance and the financial performance. RAFF credit lines replace traditional operating loans by offering a 1-year line of credit with a 0.5% discount on a farmers base rate. EDF requires farmers to meet certain environmental eligibility requirements. This includes nitrogen management and soil conservation standards.

This fund [connects]Maggie Monast (senior director of climate-smart agricultural at EDF), said Maggie Monast that EDF is focusing on the financial and environmental performance farms and incorporating the proven benefits of practices that reduce climate impacts or improve water quality into farm finance. FBN should use the results of the pilot to support the argument for farmers being rewarded for their environmental performance by financing them at scale.

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