Kurt Guidry, Merrill, Thomas A. | 8/23/2005 2:21:27 AM
The LSU AgCenter is once again opening its Farm Financial Assistance Hotline to help farmers who may be facing tough financial decisions because of stagnant commodity prices and increased production costs.
The hotline will be managed by the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness and will offer assistance for farmers in analyzing their current financial situations and developing farm financial plans for the next growing season. It can be reached by phoning (225) 578-2266.
"With dramatic increases in production costs and stagnant commodity prices, Louisiana producers may be facing some difficult financial decisions this fall," LSU AgCenter agricultural economist Dr. Kurt Guidry said. "Sharp increases in the cost of fuel and fertilizer have drastically altered normal cost-of-production patterns.
"At the same time, commodity prices for many of the state’s agricultural commodities have failed to remain at profitable levels."
As a result, many of the state’s agricultural producers may face some difficulty in paying off 2005 operating loans and in securing operating loans for 2006 production, Guidry explained. "So producers will be forced to closely examine their financial situation and will likely have to make some tough decisions," he said.
The Farm Financial Assistance Hotline is designed to help producers facing those tough times. It will enable them to request general information on farm financial management, as well as to ask for individualized assistance.
In the case of individualized assistance, producers who make those requests when they call the hotline will be referred to LSU AgCenter specialists who will conduct meetings at various times and locations with individual producers.
As part of the individualized assistance, producers will be able to request the development of personalized farm financial plans. These plans will be analyzed by agricultural economists with the LSU AgCenter, including Guidry, Dr. Gene Johnson and Dr. John Westra.
In addition to farm financial assistance, producers calling the Hotline also will be able to request information on stress management and on professionals in their area who can assist them in coping with the stress and anxiety often associated with uncertain financial times.
Producers wanting to receive assistance or interested in learning more about the types of services the LSU AgCenter can provide are encouraged to contact the LSU AgCenter’s Farm Financial Hotline at (225) 578-2266.