(UNDATED) - Indiana will forgo half-a-million dollars in interest on state funds to offer livestock farmers up to 50 times that much in low-interest loans.
Indiana now earns four-and-a-half-percent on CD's it has at banks around the state. The state will accept two points less, if the banks promise to use that money to give farmers a break on loans.
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock says livestock ranches need the help after this year's drought doubled the cost of the hay they feed their herds. He says the loan program will save large farms two percentage points of interest, and smaller farms three points.
Indiana last offered the loan deal eight years ago, when pork prices nosedived.
Mourdock says 25-million dollars in loans will be available, with the state willing to consider more if that's not enough.
Indiana Beef Cattle Association President Joe Rode predicts it won't be, but calls the program "a great start."
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