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AgSouth Farm Credit ‘remains strong’ despite $3 million loss

Posted: November 8, 2011 9:01 a.m.
Updated: November 9, 2011 5:00 a.m.

AgSouth Farm Credit, which has an office in Lugoff, had net earnings of $9.3 million during the third quarter of 2011. Year-to-date earnings for the customer-owned cooperative total nearly $26.4 million and were below 2010 earnings by approximately $3 million.

 “The decrease in earnings was the result of unusual circumstances occurring in 2010 that did not reoccur in 2011,” reported CEO Bill Spigener. “The Farm Credit Insurance Corporation issued a refund in 2010 exceeding $1.7 million due to the overfunded status of the insurance plan, which boosted 2010 earnings. Likewise, in the first nine months of 2011, the association increased contributions to the loan loss reserves due to continued economic weakness and the anticipated effects it will have on our portfolio.”

According to CFO Alisa D. Gunter, “The association remains financially strong, and credit is available for farmers, agribusiness, landowners and other borrowers. We are very happy to be celebrating 95 years of serving rural America this year, and plan to be around for a long time.”

As a cooperative, AgSouth provides patronage refunds, a form of profit sharing, to its member-borrowers. Since 1991, the association has returned more than $295 million in cash to its borrowers. As of Sept. 30, 2011, AgSouth had more than 7,400 members, $1.65 billion in assets and $254 million in capital and allocated accounts.

AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture; crop insurance; leasing; and home mortgages. The association is headquartered in Statesboro, Ga.; its 26 branches serve 59 Georgia and 34 South Carolina counties.

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