Two large agricultural companies have teamed up to offer a set of financing options to help growers finance inputs for this year's crop. Cargill AgHorizons and John Deere Credit recently announced the program, called Performance Finance, which consists of four new financing options.

Performance Finance combines Cargill's risk management and grain marketing abilities with John Deere Credit's cash-flow management expertise.

"Performance Finance offers new ways to finance the farmer's everyday purchases," reports Jerry Sullivan, John Deere Credit division manager. "It is basically a one-stop process that will help farmers manage time as well as cash flow."

The four Performance Finance options are as follows: * FasTrak: Designed for quick access financing, FasTrak offers crop input financing up to $150,000 at competitive rates. A new application process and quick turnaround time let farmers obtain the funds in time to obtain early-pay discounts on seed, fertilizer or crop-protection products. * Expanded: Growers who need to finance a broad range of operating expenses may use the Expanded program for funds up to $150,000. This funding may be used for expenses such as labor and land rent, in addition to farm input purchases. * Cash Manager: Working capital expenses may be financed through this option. Farmers enter into a grain contract for crops either currently growing or to be planted. In return, they receive funds for a portion of the contract's future-delivered value. The note must be paid upon grain delivery. This allows some extended financing because delivery may be long after harvest. * Cash Manager In-Bin: Growers may obtain a loan for the value of any grain they currently possess. The terms of this contract are similar to those of the Cash Manager.

The purpose of the Cash Manager and Cash Manager In-Bin options is to help growers make the best marketing decisions for their farms without having to sell grain quickly for cash-flow reasons.

Cargill AgHorizons is currently offering 2% below-prime interest rates on portions of any Performance Finance option that are earmarked for purchase of farm inputs through a Cargill AgHorizons provider.

For more information about Performance Finance, contact your local Cargill AgHorizons Farm Service Center, call John Deere Credit at 888/427-8699.