Vilsack Promotes Cancellation of Farm Loans in Rowesville; Clyburn: “It’s righting an evil” | New

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GENE ZALESKI T&D Staff Writer

ROWESVILLE – Corn and soybean producer Nathaniel Rhodes comes from a long line of farmers.

Over the years, he has continued to see the costs of farming rise while commodity prices remain relatively stable.

“Farm equipment is no longer cheap,” Rhodes said from his farm on Monday.

For example, Rhodes said he bought a tractor in 2013 for around $ 35,000. Today the same tractor costs $ 50,000.

He said that a six-row cotton picker now costs around $ 650,000.

“There are other things on the farm that I want to buy to be more productive,” he said.

However, Rhodes says he struggled to get loans as a minority farmer.

“It killed my mind years ago when I tried to get a loan and got turned down,” Rhodes said. At the time, he wanted to borrow about $ 35,000, but he had enough money to make his purchase without a loan.

“They refused me,” he said. Rhodes said he later found out that he had been denied the loan because of his skin color.

Rhodes and other minority farmers are hoping that help will arrive.

According to the Associated Press, a provision in the pandemic relief law directs the USDA to repay agricultural loans to nearly 16,000 minority farmers and to begin tackling issues of racial equity.



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