With banking partners across the country, Agri-Access has a lot of experience working with all types of commodities. Orchards, row crops, timber land, livestock operations — whatever it is, odds are good we’ve seen it before.
But what about the commodities that we haven’t yet worked with? Do we simply turn down those opportunities?
Not at all. At Agri-Access, we want to do everything we can to support our banking partners. That includes putting in the work it takes to understand new or niche commodities just as well as any of agriculture’s oldest standbys.
To illustrate, here’s a general breakdown of what the onboarding process for a new commodity might look like.
Start with fact finding
As with any worthy research project, the process starts with identifying the best available sources of information. These sources may vary by region, institution or the commodity itself. Generally, we rely on data and insights from:
- The loan originator
- Official USDA data
- Industry-specific publications and association
- State extension and ag departments
Of course, asking the right questions is also essential. We need to understand not just the commodity itself, but how it fits into the world of agribusiness. Some of the standard questions we might ask include:
- Is this commodity government subsidized?
- If not, has it been in the past?
- If so, is there any question about the subsidy in future farm bills?
- What are the national and international supply and demand numbers?
- How much of this commodity is currently being produced?
- What are the processing requirements?
- How are sales distributed?
Once we have an idea of the bigger picture, we narrow our investigations to the specific region in question, such as southern Alabama or northwestern Oklahoma. We want to know if the commodity has a history of being grown in that area. If so, has it been successful? Is it currently being cultivated?
We also want to know about that region’s infrastructure and economy. Does it have the workforce, processing capabilities and/or market stability to make this a sound investment?
For this local research, we’re especially interested in the expertise of the originator we’re working with. They function as a true subject matter expert most of the time, and their information is absolutely invaluable to our team.
Getting everyone on board
Once this information is in hand, Relationship Managers are able to pass it along to Credit and other departments while the originator prepares the deal. This way, when the deal lands on Credit’s desk, they’re already well-informed and prepared to make a sound, prompt assessment.
If you have any questions about your commodities or region, we’re always ready to help. Visit our website to connect with a Relationship Manager and get started today!