Tillable has launched a new digital platform to simplify and streamline financing farmland rentals. The online tool, Tillable Finance, is the first fully online application for agricultural financing.
It is now available in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, with plans for future Midwest expansion by fall of 2021.
Currently, about 80% of U.S. farmers rent their land, but the financing process remains paper-based and slow. Traditionally, growers physically meet with a banker to take out an operating loan, usually with a complex application requiring documentation and often considerable collateral.
“Farmers can finance their tractors from John Deere, their seed from Bayer and their crop protection from BASF, but they haven’t had a way to easily finance their rent until now,” said Corbett Kull, founder and CEO of Illinois-based Tillable. “Tillable Finance takes the hassle out of the bank loan process and streamlines it to be faster and easier for farmers to get approved and manage their payments. The platform also enables rental payments to go directly to the landowner.
“The digital application process is easy for farmers, with approval typically taking one to two days. They are able to secure affordable rates while only providing minimal information, eliminating the detail-intensive process a typical bank loan requires,” he added. Andy Noe, a corn and soybean farmer in Eureka, Illinois, used Tillable Finance to obtain a rental loan on farmland that he acquired through Tillable’s complementary land rental platform near his current operation. He said the new financing tool made the process easy and convenient.
“Filling out the loan application was smooth and fast,” Noe said. “It’s definitely user-friendly, unlike some other apps where you can get kicked off or get sidetracked and have to start over from scratch. And once I got approval, I didn’t have to transfer money or write a check, because that’s automatically taken care of — one less thing on my plate to worry about.”
Kull noted that Tillable Finance also benefits farmland owners, who will receive guaranteed on-time payments if their farmer uses Tillable Finance. “Landowners can stick with their existing farmer while still using Tillable to put a digital lease in place and track activities on their farm. Meanwhile, their farmer gets access to affordable and easy rent financing delivered on time. Guaranteed.”
When farmers use Tillable Finance, they can unlock:
A fully online application, available 24/7, with online loan status updates.
Two knowledgeable on-call teams, both at Tillable and their financing partner, to answer any questions.
Interest rates as low as 3.5%, without a mortgage.
“We’ve seen the effect of innovation in lending across mortgages, the auto industry and consumer retail. We think it’s about time farmers got in on the gains, too,” continued Kull.
Tillable Finance is a program that pairs eligible borrowers with a participating lender who provides operating loans to qualified, eligible borrowers on the terms and conditions provided by the lender, if the applications are approved. Tillable Finance is currently offered in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. A list of eligible counties can be found at https://app.tillable.com/farmer-financing.
Launching Sustainable Leases
Tillable, which also offers a land rental marketplace, is launching a Sustainable Flex Lease product that helps landowners and farmers agree on and monitor sustainable farming practices. The product provides tools for farmers to easily report activities performed on the farm to the landowner, and distributes payment dependent on the performance of the farm and specifics of the lease agreement. It will also support enrollment in carbon credit programs.
This service is intended to help landowners work with their existing farmers to implement sustainable farming practices. It also enables farmers who follow these practices to gain access to additional acres that may require sustainable farming as part of the lease agreement. The program will initially be available in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.
“Caring for America’s farmland is at the core of Tillable’s mission, and it is nonnegotiable for the future of U.S. agriculture,” Kull said. “That is why we have built a platform that makes it easy to track and document how a farm is taken care of sustainably. Tillable can support existing landowner-tenant relationships, or connect landowners with farmers willing to adopt sustainable practices and both help the environment and improve the quality of the land.”