In response to this year's adverse weather conditions and their impact on Wisconsin farm families, Badgerland Financial is making a special, one-time patronage distribution totaling $5.2 million to its members in October.
Historical high temperatures in mid-March and early April combined with drought conditions throughout much of the growing season have resulted in greatly reduced crop yields and tight feed supplies.
Extreme summertime heat also caused reduced milk production for many dairy farmers.
"Badgerland Financial understands the challenges the drought may have created for our members and we want to be proactive in responding to their needs," says Diane Cole, CEO of Badgerland Financial.
Cole continued, "We know there are needs today that can't wait until 2013. This special patronage distribution can help offset some of the additional expenses of our members."
Cole notes there are some bright spots for its members that distinguish this time from past drought events, such as most are financially stronger following two or more years of record profits and robust crop insurance programs are utilized and will help offset losses for many.
Furthermore, interest rates are still historically low and producers are able to lock in long-term rates.
Meanwhile, Badgerland Financial and other agricultural cooperatives have strengthened their balance sheets in recent years and are positioned to withstand any weather-related business impacts.
"It's our mission and that of all Farm Credit associations to stand by our customers, in good times and bad. We're not going anywhere," adds Cole. "We are working collaboratively with our members on a case-by-case basis, offering options for modifying loan terms and repayment schedules, if needed. Together we will navigate through the issues they're facing."
This past March Badgerland Financial paid $9 million in cash patronage to its members, bringing the total to more than $60 million distributed over the last eight years.
Based on strong financial results year-to-date and expected results for the remainder of this year, the Association also anticipates paying any balance of its 2012 patronage distribution in early 2013.
Badgerland Financial, headquartered in Prairie du Sac, is a locally-owned cooperative serving members through offices in 17 communities in 33 southern Wisconsin counties. To learn more, visit badgerlandfinancial.com.