30 August 2022
Big increase in the numbers of Cultivate Farm Loan applications in 2022
Today, Cultivate, the national collaborative of credit unions offering finance to farmers, released an analysis of their loan applications for the first six months of this year. Cultivate has recently expanded to more than 150 credit union locations across the country. This expansion has contributed to a 37% increase in the total number of loan applications to Cultivate compared to last year.
The average loan application from farmers for the first half of 2022 was €28,083 and was used for several key on-farm activities, including stocking & working capital (33%). The other most popular loan purposes were for farm buildings (17%), purchases of farm equipment (16%) and tractor purchases (14%). These loan purposes underline the importance farmers place on investing in their farms while highlighting farmers’ ongoing pressures due to rising input costs.
Speaking on behalf of Cultivate, Averyl Condell at Access Credit Union noted,
“Cultivate is delighted to have received the support of the ILCU earlier this summer and to see continued growth in the total number of loan applications to Cultivate during the first six months of the year. This performance gives us great confidence as we work to make Cultivate available to every farmer in West Cork. Cultivate offers a specialised finance option to farmers. We offer flexible unsecured loans up to €50,000. Farmers availing of a Cultivate loan appreciate being able to work with someone who understands their farm’s needs and is also a local, trusted community financial provider.”
Beef and mixed farmers continue to account for the majority of farmers applying for a Cultivate loan, with 71% of loan applications for the first six months of 2022 coming from beef farmers. Dairy farmers accounted for 17%, while sheep farmers accounted for 9% of applications.
The first six months of 2022 were the first time March was the most popular month for applications, representing almost 24% of total loans. February continues to be the busiest month for applications from dairy farmers, accounting for 33% of total dairy applications, while March was the busiest month for applications from beef and mixed farmers, representing 25% of total beef-related applications.
Debt levels on the farm
Dairy farmers continue to carry a higher level of debt on their farms than their beef counterparts. The most common debt value for beef farmers was €70,596, while dairy farmers are managing over double that, at €147,398.
Beef and dairy comparison
The average loan application from a dairy farmer was just over €35,000 compared to €27,581 for a beef farmer. Off-farm income continues to be a significant differing factor for beef, and dairy farmers, as 92% of beef farmer applicants had some off-farm income, compared to 62% of dairy farmers.
Commenting further, Averyl said,
“The demand from farmers in West Cork for an alternative flexible finance lender continues to rise, as highlighted by our review of the first six months of 2022.
For any farmer who wants to find out more about how to access a Cultivate loan, they can contact me on (085) 268 2727 to discuss their needs”