Floyd County farming

Cotton farmers in Floyd County have gotten another bumper crop this year. / Doug Walker

Farmers in Floyd County have received patronage checks amounting to more than $147,800 from AgGeorgia Farm Credit, a Georgia-based agricultural lending cooperative.

Dividends totaling over $13.5 million have been declared by its Board of Directors, with checks sent to program participants the first week in April.

“With so many of our members still recovering from the weather events of last year, it is a great pleasure for our board and staff to be able to return our profits to our membership,” said AgGeorgia CEO Jack Drew in a press release.

This marks the 31st consecutive year the cooperative has returned profits to its members through its Patronage Refund Program, with nearly $365 million in cash being paid out since 1988. The refund, from 2018 earnings, consists of more than $4 million in cash and over $9.5 million in allocated surplus.

Farmers in Chattooga County netted $114,508, Gordon County farmers shared over $227,600 while participants in Bartow County received $131,510 and Polk County participants divvied up $84,837.

“The patronage refund reduces our members’ cost of borrowing considerably, this year lowering the average member’s stated rate by 1.47 percent,” said AgGeorgia’s CFO Carrie McCall. “For every dollar of interest expense accrued by our borrowers in our general portfolio in 2018, 25 cents is being paid back to them.”

The dividend total for Floyd County farmers was up about 10.5% from the $133,000 payout a year ago.