Today, Cultivate, the national collaborative credit union finance lending platform for farmers, released 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 versus the same period last year.
The average loan application from farmers for the first half of 2022 was for €28,083 and was used for a number of 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 are placing on investing in their farms while also highlighting the ongoing pressures facing farmers due to rising input costs.
Speaking on behalf of Cultivate, Martina Cotter, CEO at Synergy 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 application 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 County Cork.
“Cultivate offers a specialised finance option to farmers. We offer flexible unsecured loans up to €75,000. Farmers availing of a Cultivate loan appreciate being able to work with someone who understands the needs of their farm and who is also a member of the local community.”
Beef 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 was the first time that March was the most popular month for applications, representing almost 24% of total loans in the period. 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 farmers, representing 25% of total beef related applications.
DEBT LEVELS ON FARM
Dairy farmers continue to carry a higher level of debt on their farm 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 in comparison to €27,581 for a beef farmer. Off-farm income continues to be a major differing factor for beef and dairy farmer as 92% of beef farmer applicants had some sort of off-farm income, compared to 62% of dairy farmers.
Commenting further, Martina Cotter, said: “The demand we have from farmers in County 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 go to www.cultivate-cu.ie or contact us directly here in Fermoy on Freephone 1800 272927 or email email@example.com.