Shan Hanes with Tri-State Bank Shares Advice on How Producers can get Relief DollarsMon, 27 Apr 2020 09:06:07 CDT
Lawmakers reached an agreement to allow agriculture to participate in the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The agreement is part of a larger deal, a $484 billion coronavirus package to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.
Radio Oklahoma Associate Farm Director KC Sheperd spoke with the President of Heartland Tri-State Bank, Shan Hanes, to see what this means for producers. Hanes said they've been working with the ancillary groups for agriculture, the tractor dealers and the supporting industries for Ag have also really felt some of the crunch "We've spent a lot of time and resources getting those folks eligible. Those guys have employees they have to keep in the shop and in the fields making repairs. So for us, it extends beyond the farmers, and those businesses that farmers depend on."
Hanes said some advice he gives to producers during this time is to stay in contact with your bankers and make sure they have the latest information available because in these situations there is not a lot of guidance, "We are getting new information every day trying to put this stuff together and looking for every opportunity we have to help our customers, whether its farmers or farm businesses, we are looking for ways to help them work through this process."
If money does become available, Hanes said the banks have a system now, "At first we were developing the system on the fly, but at this point, most financial institutions have a system. What we are asking is that you get your application online, and then make sure you have your 2019 taxes." Hanes said that piece has proven challenging because the tax filing date was moved up, so some producers do not have their taxes done."
Even though all of the ag sectors are feeling the crunch of the pandemic, Hanes believes the dairy farmers and beef cattle producers are feeling it the most, "You know if you've got cattle coming out, and you need to sell them now, it's not like you can put them in storage for a few months and sit on them, you know they've gotta go. So for the beef cattle stress, it's due to timing." Hanes says he believes six months down the road we're still going to be eating beef, and the price is going to work its way up, but there's a timing factor when it comes to beef cattle.
Hanes said he's been very impressed with how patient and understanding ag producers are being with the process of having to work through questions over the phone or through email, "Our farmers have really worked with us through this process and been very supportive of our banks as small businesses, and they get that we've got to get through this."
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