Marketing assistance loans (MALs) are marketing tools available during harvest or shearing.
Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing at harvest time to help agricultural producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. This enables producers to delay selling the commodity until more favorable market conditions emerge. Storing production at harvest (or at shearing for wool and mohair) allows more orderly commodity marketing throughout the year.
To be eligible for a MAL, a producer must:
Comply with conservation and wetland protection requirements;
Submit an acreage report for all cropland on all farms as applicable;
Have and retain beneficial interest in the commodity until the MAL is repaid or CCC takes title to the commodity; and
Meet adjusted gross income limitations (described in a later section).
Eligible commodities include wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, upland cotton, extra-long staple cotton (eligible for MAL only), long grain rice, medium grain rice, soybeans, other oilseeds (including sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe and sesame seed), dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, large chickpeas, graded and nongraded wool, mohair, unshorn pelts (eligible for LDP only), honey and peanuts. Commodities harvested as other than grain may also be eligible for a LDP.
The commodity must:
Have been produced, mechanically harvested or shorn from live animals by an eligible producer and be in storable condition;
Be merchantable for food, feed or other uses, as determined by CCC; and
Meet specific CCC minimum grade and quality standards for MALs.