The term agricultural credit refers to one of several credit vehicles used to finance agricultural transactions. These vehicles include loans, notes, bills of exchange, and banker's acceptances. This type of financing is specially adapted to the specific financial needs of farmers and allows them to secure equipment, plant, harvest, marketing, and do other things that are necessary to keep their farms running.
When someone needs credit, they often turn to banks for loans or other credit vehicles. Some industries have special facilities set aside through certain financial institutions as is the case with agribusiness—the business sector encompassing farming and farming-related commercial activities which involves all the steps required to send an agricultural good to market—production, processing, and distribution. This is called agricultural credit, which is available in many different countries.
The Federal Farm Credit System (FFCS) plays a key role in agricultural credit in the United States. The FFCS, which has been around since 1916, is made up of a series of institutions that have more than $180 billion in assets. These institutions range from wholesale banks and retail lenders that provide an estimated 35% of the real-estate and non-real estate borrowing needs of U.S. farmers. Short-term credit finances operating expenses, intermediate-term credit is used for farm machinery, and long-term credit is used for real estate financing.
Agricultural credit, which is also commonly referred to as agricultural finance, is an important component of the economy, especially in countries with arable land since agricultural products can be exported. Credit is vital to agricultural businesses because it gives farmers access to capital that might not otherwise be available to them. It helps them secure the seeds, equipment, and land they need to operate a successful farm. Agricultural credit programs not only help farmers and other agricultural producers, but it also supports ranchers and rural homeowners with their finances.
Credit needs to be made available on competitive terms to allow American farmers who operate in a free market economy to be able to compete with farms that receive state financial subsidies, such as in the European Union (EU) or Russia. If this credit wasn't available, the U.S. agribusiness sector would face unfair competition when it comes to securing the equipment and arable land needed to produce agricultural products for the global market place.