DNRC cuts interest rates on rangeland loans

Montana ranchers considering rangeland improvement projects received a boost this month, when the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation reduced interest rates for Rangeland Improvement Loans from 3 percent to 1.5 percent.

“It’s been a challenging summer for our farmers and ranchers,” said Stacey Barta, Rangeland Resources Program coordinator with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. “The state’s Rangeland Resources Executive Committee requested the interest rate reduction to support producers dealing with the impacts of wildfires and drought.”

Started in 1979, the low-interest loan program provides added incentives for producers to undertake rangeland improvement and development projects. Water storage, fencing, and stock water tanks are a few of the more common improvements. In addition to benefits for the ranch operation, Barta said the projects often improve streams and riparian areas and rangeland health, which in turn benefit wildlife, combat invasive weeds and reduce soil erosion.

The maximum loan amount is $75,000, with repayment scheduled for a maximum of ten years with annual installments. Producers apply to their local Conservation District; the application is then reviewed by DNRC.

For more details, contact Bill Herbolich with DNRC at (406) 444-6668, or visit http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/cardd/conservation-districts/range-improvem....

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