- People who make a living producing maple syrup might have to borrow money to make it to next year. The warm spring here made it a struggle for producers. Most made only a quarter of their usual output. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stepping in.
Joan Ginter and her husband Tim are third generation maple syrup producers in Crandon. The Ginter's property has 80 acres of maple trees, tapped since the 1920's. Each year they pull about 20,000 gallons of sap from those trees.
"On average we make anywhere from 500 to 600 gallons per year of syrup. And this year we made about a quarter of that," says Ginter.
The Ginter's usually use profits to make improvements on the land or invest in new equipment. This year they had to dip into their savings-- that's where the USDA comes in. It's declared a natural disaster in 14 counties.
"Producers in these disaster designated counties, as well as in the counties contiguous to those disaster designated counties, those producers would have access to low interest emergency loans through our agency," says Wisconsin Farm Services Agency Executive Director Brad Pfaff.
The counties in our viewing area eligible for loans are Forest, Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon and Vilas.
The neighboring counties that will also have access to assistance are Oneida, Portage, Price, Taylor and Wood.
Those emergency loans were already set at a low interest rate at 3.75%. Now they're even lower at 2.25%.
If you think a FSA loan will help you, please call your local FSA office. Phone numbers can be found at the WI FSA link below.
WI FSA Website