Editor’s note: the following is an excerpt from the article, “Farmers, lenders keep close watch on credit,” that appears in a recent issue of AgAlert, published by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Even with signs of an improving economy, lenders spooked by the financial crisis and mortgage-related losses remain cautious, and farmers and ranchers on shaky financial footing may face an uphill battle securing loans to pay for feed, fertilizer and other operating expenses.

Access to credit has not improved from a year ago, and that could raise the cost of doing business for farmers and ranchers, even if only slightly, said Steven Blank, University of California Cooperative Extension agricultural economist in Davis.

"Lenders are tightening up their requirements, and the loan process has gotten more onerous than ever in terms of documentation required," he said. "People who have excellent credit will still get credit. But people that used to be marginal are now in trouble."

Read the entire article here.

Source: California Farm Bureau Federation, Ag Alert