U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL) introduced the Precision Agriculture Loan Program (PAL) Act of 2022, which is bipartisan legislation that would establish the first-ever federal precision agriculture loan program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“Thanks to cutting-edge research at our nation’s top universities like Iowa State and other scientific advancements, precision agriculture technology has become an important component of modern farming,” said Rep. Feenstra. “From sustainability efforts to improved yields, precision agriculture simultaneously helps Iowa farmers be profitable and successful, protects our environment, and powers our rural economy. I am proud to help introduce the Precision Agriculture Loan Program Act with my colleague Congresswoman Cheri Bustos to ensure our agricultural community can access low-interest loans to expand their precision agriculture operations.”
“With rising fertilizer costs and environmental concerns, it’s more important than ever to promote precision agriculture,” said Rep. Bustos. “Unfortunately, high costs make this cutting-edge technology out of reach for too many farmers in the Heartland. That’s why I’m proud to join bipartisan legislation with Congressman Randy Feenstra to help more family farmers access climate-smart technologies as we work to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce input costs in agriculture.”
“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is proud to see more bipartisan support coalesce around the Precision Agriculture Loan Program (PAL) Act and offer our sincere gratitude to Representatives Feenstra and Bustos for introducing this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM Senior Vice President, Government and Industry Relations. “The PAL Act will open doors for future generations of farmers, giving them the tools to adopt climate-smart agricultural practices. America’s farmers are always asked to do more with less – and precision agriculture is the exact solution that will empower our farmers to handle this demand.”
More specifically, this legislation would offer loans up to $500,000 between 3 and 12 years in length at interest rates of less than 2% and create a list of acceptable precision agriculture technologies approved by the Farm Service Agency and covered by the USDA. This funding would also allow farmers to retrofit existing equipment with new technologies.