Farm Credit Services of America mobilizes to help South Dakota producers impacted by drought

Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Forum

OMAHA, NEBRASKA — On Aug. 14, Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) announced the mobilization of staff and financial resources to support the cooperative’s producer-owners impacted by drought.

More than three-quarters of South Dakota is in moderate to severe drought and much of the remainder of the state is struggling with abnormal dryness. Yield expectations are down as a result, and acreage enrolled in USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been released by USDA for grazing.

“This drought is a hardship for South Dakota’s agricultural producers. It is one more potential impact to farm incomes already affected by low commodity prices,” said Doug Stark, FCSAmerica’s president and CEO. “Our financial cooperative exists to ensure farmers and ranchers have a dependable lender to see them through tough times. We’re putting our financial strength to work for our customers.”

FCSAmerica serves more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, the vast majority of whom have seen crops and pastures impacted by drought. Bob Schmidt, FCSAmerica’s senior vice president for the state, said local teams are working with customers to identify strategies to help them manage through the challenges.

“Many of our South Dakota team members have agricultural backgrounds that, paired with years of lending experience, provide a unique understanding of our customers’ current needs,” Schmidt said. “We encourage all those affected by the drought to visit their local FCSAmerica office to discuss their credit. Our crop insurance agents also are available to meet with customers.”

Drought conditions are spreading as above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall linger across much of the Plains. FCSAmerica has customers in areas of Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming who also are seeing damage to crops and pastures. The cooperative is monitoring developments and responding to emerging needs.