MICHIGAN (the Patch) — Michigan farmers who sustained devastating crop losses due to this spring’s heavy rain and flooding can now apply for low-interest loans, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The state Treasury Department has begun implementing the $15 million Agriculture Loan Origination Program. Approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the program enables financial institutions to make low-interest loans to farmers, growers, processors and farm-related retailers.

“Agriculture is a critical piece of our state’s economy,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “These loans will help our farmers until next year’s planting season. Treasury is ready to begin processing applications and making these funds available so we can provide relief to Michigan’s farmers.”

Farmers should check with their local banks and other financial institutions to see if they are participating in the Agriculture Loan Origination Program. The state is paying the loan origination fees to reduce the cost of the loans, while the financial institutions are assuming the risk associated with providing the loans.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has launched an online resource and information portal so farmers can find the help they need this year. The site is being updated as new information is identified, including resources from partners like Michigan State University Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture.

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