(NAFB) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday announced $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program.

The program aims to help producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. Intermediary lenders, cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations, can apply for loans up to $5 million at one percent interest once the Farm Service Agency opens the two-month signup window in late August. After FSA selects lenders, heirs can apply directly to those lenders for loans and assistance.

Heirs’ property issues have long been a barrier for producers and landowners to access USDA programs and services. The relending program provides access to capital to help producers find a resolution. Heirs may use the loans to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of property interests and financing costs associated with a succession plan.

Heirs may not use loans for any land improvement, development purpose, or payment of operating costs.