Best Farm Loans

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The 5 Best Farm Loans of 2021

On average, farmland in the United States costs around $3,160 per acre, so just purchasing land can get expensive quickly. For that reason, many farmers turn to farm loans for everything from financing land to covering operating costs. 

The best farm loans are characterized by a wide selection of loan options, quick funding speed, and accessible eligibility requirements. Here our are top picks.

Best Overall: Farm Credit

Farm Credit

Farm Credit

Why We Chose It: As a nationwide network of lenders, Farm Credit is our overall top choice for farm loans due to its widespread availability and comprehensive loan offerings.

What We Like

- Serves customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico

- Affiliated lenders offer helpful tools like payment calculators

- Cooperative, customer-owned structure facilitates top-tier customer service

What We Don’t Like

- Farm loan offerings vary by individual lender

Farm Credit is a nationwide financial network with more than 72 lending institutions, with coverage in every county in the United States and Puerto Rico. Affiliated lenders include Farm Credit Mid-America, which services borrowers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and Farm Credit Services of America, which lends to rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 

Loan offerings may vary by location, but Farm Credit makes it easy to identify and connect with a local lender and find one that meets your needs. For example, farmers in search of equipment financing can access Farm Credit’s AgDirect equipment financing through dealers, auctions, and private sellers. Farmers can also access agricultural real estate loans, operational loans, and financing for livestock and farm improvements.

Best Line of Credit: AgAmerica Lending

AgAmerica Lending

 AgAmerica Lending

Why We Chose It: For farmers who prefer a line of credit to a traditional lump-sum loan, AgAmerica Lending is our top choice because of its 10-year lines of credit, interest-only payments, and lengthy amortization periods that keep costs low.

What We Like

- Funds can be used for any business purpose

- Payments are interest-only and 25-year amortizations are available

- Lends to farmers nationwide

What We Don’t Like

- Borrowers must own or plan to purchase a minimum of 25 acres

AgAmerica Lending is a Central Florida-based lender that specializes in farm loans, including everything from peanut and tree nut farm loans to poultry, dairy, and cattle farm loans. The lender offers a range of financing options to borrowers nationwide but stands out because of its 10-year lines of credit. 

These lines of credit let farmers apply and qualify once and then access them for 10 years without additional paperwork. Once approved, borrowers can make unlimited cash draws, and funds can be used for any business purpose. Not only does the 10-year line of credit offer interest-only payments, but borrowers can also access a 25-year amortization period, which can lower the monthly cost of the loan. Plus, there are no prepayment penalties.

Best Flexibility: Farm Plus Financial

Farm Plus Financial

Farm Plus Financial 

Why We Chose It: Farm Plus Financial is our choice for the most flexible farm loans because the lender offers a wide range of loan products with flexible rates and repayment terms. 

What We Like

- Flexible and robust loan offerings

- No prepayment penalties

- Nationwide availability

What We Don’t Like

- Loans are not available in North Dakota

Farm Plus Financial is an agriculture-specific lender that offers flexible farm loans in every state except North Dakota. Farmers looking for flexibility can choose from Farm Plus Financial’s farm real estate loans and farm operating lines of credit. What’s more, borrowers can choose from several options on all Farm Plus Financial agricultural loans, including loan conversion, split loans, and season loans.

In the case of loan conversion, this means borrowers can convert a shorter-term or variable rate farm loan to a fixed rate or longer-term loan without submitting new financials. Likewise, borrowers can opt to split their loans into multiple parts—with each part having different terms or variable vs. fixed rates. Finally, Farm Plus does not impose prepayment penalties so farmers have the flexibility to pay off their loans as early as possible.

Best for Business Expenses: AdvancePoint Capital

AdvancePoint Capital

 AdvancePoint Capital

Why We Chose It: Due to its wide selection of financing options—including loans, invoice factoring, and credit cards—AdvancePoint Capital is our top choice for covering farm-related business expenses.

What We Like

- Offers a wide range of business loan options

- Quick and easy online application process

- Prequalification available without a hard credit check

What We Don’t Like

- Small business loans are limited to about $500,000

- Not an agriculture-specific lender

A general business lender, AdvancePoint Capital offers a wide range of financing options to farmers. Not only does the lender provide short- and long-term business loans, it extends business lines of credit as well as equipment loans, invoice factoring, purchase order financing, and business credit cards. This makes it our top pick for covering farm-related business expenses. 

AdvancePoint Capital provides farmers access to small business loans up to roughly $500,000 and with terms up to five years; business lines of credit up to about $100,000 with repayments over 12 months; as well as invoice factoring credit lines up to approximately $2.5 million and cash advances up to around $500,000.

In addition to its robust offerings, AdvancePoint features a streamlined application and approval process that makes it easier to access financing for agricultural business expenses.

Best Quick Funding: American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services

American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services

 American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services

Why We Chose It: American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services is a top pick because the lender’s AgXpress loans make it easy to get financing in as little as a few hours. 

What We Like

- Operates in all 50 states

- Offers expedited loans in as little as a few hours

- Farm Service Agency (FSA) Preferred Lender in more than 32 states

What We Don’t Like

- AgXpress Loans have a high credit score requirement

American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services is an agricultural farm real estate lender that offers farm loans in all 50 states. The lender is also a Farmer Service Agency (FSA) Preferred Lender in 32 states. That said, American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services really stands out because of its AgXpress Loans that offer turnaround times as short as a few hours to one business day.

These expedited loans are available to borrowers with a minimum credit score of 720 and loans are available up to roughly $1.5 million per applicant within a 12-month period. What’s more, there are no restrictions on commodities or how the funds are used, and the flexible loans are available with fixed, variable, or adjustable rates. Customers can also take advantage of helpful online tools like the ability to calculate loan payments, make payments, and track commodities and stock symbols.

American Farm Mortgage & Financial Services also specializes in loans for new farmers, offering competitive rates, customizable repayment terms, and quick turnaround times. These loans are available to prospective borrowers who have engaged in farming for at least three of the last 10 years—but not more than a decade. There are also qualification requirements regarding farm size, participation in operations, and FSA eligibility.

Final Verdict

Whether your farm is in its first few years of operation or already a well-established business, farm loans can help you access the cash you need to buy more land, finance equipment, and supplies. The best farm loans make financing accessible, easy to apply for, and affordable for farmers and other members of the agricultural community. Our best overall choice—Farm Credit—stands out because of its network of nationwide lenders and unique cooperative structure that puts customers first. Farmers can also take advantage of the wide range of financing options available through their individual lenders.

What Loans Are Available for Farmers?

Farmers can access both agriculture-specific and general business loans to finance real estate and operational costs. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a number of government-backed operation and farm ownership loans as well as microloans and financing available to specific applicants. Beyond FSA loans, farmers can borrow funds from a wide variety of local and nationwide lenders that specialize in agricultural or general business loans. 

How Do USDA Farm Loans Work?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a number of farm loans—some directly and others through various nationwide lenders. Interest rates, terms, and loan amounts are set by the USDA, and qualification requirements vary based on the specific loan program. Prospective borrowers can apply for USDA farm loans through their local FSA office and, in some cases, online; approval decisions are typically made within roughly 60 days.  

How Do I Get a Loan for Farm Land?

To get a loan for farm land, research lenders that finance farm land in your area and shop around for the best terms and interest rates. Some lenders offer a prequalification process without a hard credit check, and many provide online applications that make it easy to see if you qualify for a farm land loan. 

How We Chose the Best Farm Loans

To select the best farm loans for Treehugger readers, we compared more than 15 lenders based on their financing products, the flexibility of their terms, and qualification requirements. Furthermore, we evaluated each lender’s customer support options, the online application process, and other borrower resources.