Wisconsin’s agricultural industry is struggling but now you can help them with the click of a button. Ask your lawmakers to make the ECORA Act—a bill that would promote greater access to credit and reduce borrowing costs for ag producers—part of the next COVID-19 relief package.
ECORA, the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act of 2019 (H.R. 1872/S. 1641) is similar to legislation WBA lobbied for in the last state legislative session. It will lower the cost of credit for farmers and ranchers by removing the taxation on income from farm real estate loans made by agricultural banks across America.
By removing this taxation, farmers and ranchers will be able to utilize their most important asset (agricultural land) to achieve the lowest possible financing costs for their farm and ranch operations.
Depressed commodity prices have many agricultural producers completely dependent upon low-cost credit to keep their operations afloat. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, net farm income is expected to decrease by $10.9 billion, a decrease of 9% when compared to the 2019 forecast. With the outbreak of COVID-19, a further decrease in net farm income has become a stark reality.
Simply put, Congress has a way of helping farmers and ranchers survive with less income. ECORA will immediately provide a pathway to increasing income for farmers and ranchers nationwide by lowering their cost to obtain agricultural credit.
ECORA could reduce the average interest rate on a farm and ranch real estate loan by 1 to 1.5%. This legislation offers a straightforward solution to help farmers and ranchers during this time of lower farm incomes without creating new government payments or programs.
The agriculture community has worked tirelessly to sustain a safe and sufficient food supply throughout this crisis, and it will continue to do so.
It is vitally important and extremely easy to contact your member of Congress today and ask they make the ECORA proposal part of the COVID-19 Phase IV package.