Minnesota Dairy producers will soon have a new financial tool available. Called the livestock equipment pilot loan program, funding could become available as soon as mid-August.

The pilot program is designed to help producers make their first purchase of livestock-related equipment such as manure handling equipment, milking equipment, or   investments related to pasture-based or housing systems. Preference is given to producers who have been dairying for 10 years or less and who have limited equity.

The loans can be for up to $40,000, or 45 percent of the total amount of the purchase. Interest is capped at 3 percent for seven years.

To learn more about the program, Minnesota producers can contact the Rural Finance Authority at (651) 297-3557.