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Emergency Loans for Horse Producers

April 4, 2012

Here is press release from USDA announcing emergency aid to horse farmers.  Thanks to the Quarter Horse News for this information:

USDA Announces Equine Operations Now Eligible for Emergency Loans
Written by Press Release   

ranch landUSDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Chief Eddie Trevino, announced on April 3 that equine operations that breed, raise and sell certain types of horses are now eligible for loan assistance under FSA’s emergency loan program.

“Equine operations whose primary enterprise is to breed, raise and sell horses are now eligible for the same emergency loan assistance that is available to livestock and row crop producers,” said Trevino.  “Emergency loans are part of the farm safety net that will assist eligible producers who suffer losses due to drought, flooding, quarantine or other natural disasters,” he said.

Emergency loan funds may be used to:

·         Restore or replace essential property;
·         Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year (the calendar year in which the disaster occurred);
·         Pay essential family living expenses;
·         Reorganize the farming operation; and
·         Refinance certain debts.

Emergency loans can be made to farmers and ranchers who own and operate lands in a county or contiguous county declared by the President or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster area. Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses up to a maximum of $500,000. Terms of the loans include an interest rate of 3.75 percent and repayment over a period of one to 40 years depending on the nature of the loss and the collateral available to secure the loan. 

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For additional information on FSA’s emergency loan program, contact your local FSA office or view the following fact sheet:  Emergency Loan Fact Sheet

Read more:


Seven Questions to Ask When Buying Farmland

March 27, 2012

Hey everyone, just wanted to share this excellent brief article with you all.


News on the Hay Front…Some Good, some not.

February 22, 2012

This is a link to an extensive article in the leading hay growers publication, detailing their projections for the coming year.  Thanks to Quarter Horse News for this information.


September 15, 2011

The Search for Hay is Getting Feverish

Multiple years of drought, augmented by record summer heat, has made locally grown hay very difficult to find.  There seem to be stores aplenty in other parts of the country, but shipping costs make that hay pretty darn expensive by the time it reaches us down here.

Since this is fall, and the end of any possible growing season until next spring, i.e., winter is right around the corner, a lot of folks are trying to stock up, and finding it very difficult to do so.  Much of the hay coming from other parts is alfalfa, or alfalfa/timothy mix, which is much richer than our local grass hay, particularly coastal bermuda.  Those folks whose horses have problems with the richer hays from cooler climes are having a tough time finding what they need.

While I don’t have a solution to this problem, my suggestion is to prepare for higher costs.  It isn’t that there isn’t hay available, but the distance it has to travel is going to make it very expensive.  Expect this to last well into April or May of next year, by which time, hopefully,  regular rainfall will once again be upon us.



Dishing About Dirt

April 5, 2011

Horse people love to talk about dirt.  For riders it is all about footing.  Cutters like deep sand, reiners like a little cushion with a lot of slide, dressage riders like synthetic surfaces with a lot of springiness.

People looking to buy Horse Property are no different.  The dirt of choice for horse farms is sandy loam, sandy enough for good drainage, and loamy enough to hold roots and grow excellent grass.  There is one problem with this in the Austin area, and it is a big problem….we don’t have very much of it in our area.  The Hill country to the west is rock covered in black clay, the farm land to the east and north is thick, gummy black clay.  You really have to get out to the Bastrop and Elgin areas before it starts to change over into the sandy loam.  I was recently working with a client and found a treasure trove of it in the Dale area.  This is a beautiful area for horse land.  The hills are high and rolling, so water runs off.  The soil a perfect sandy loam, and there are lots of big trees so that improved pastures can have shade, and not be scrubby brush obstacle courses like other parts of Caldwell county.  I recommend anyone looking for good loam to call me and let’s go look in that area between Lockhart and Bastrop.  For an added bonus, the prices are very reasonable there compared to the rest of the Austin area.   Of course, we can make other areas work just fine, my farm is between Driftwood and Dripping Springs, but if you want good sandy loam, I know where to find it for you!

Things to Consider

February 9, 2011

CNN/Money has a good article on things to consider when buying and building on rural property.  While it is true that the farther out you go, the more affordable the land becomes, it is also true that things like shipping building materials, building roads instead of just driveways, and providing all your own security, can add to the costs of building a dream home in a secluded area.  Here is a link to the article:

School Accountability Rankings and Information

February 3, 2011

The ever helpful Tracy Blair of Gracy Title Company has sent me a wonderfully compiled, and thoroughly researched, document showing School Rankings for ALL the schools in Austin and in the surrounding cities and counties.  School districts are very important to most buyers.   If they don’t have children directly involved in the schools, then they know that what happens at the schools has a direct, and major, impact on the value of their property.  If a  local school gets better, worse, or even closes down, that will affect the direction of your property value for a long time to come.

Thanks again to Tracy for this important information!

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