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by Lauren Manning, Ag Funder News

There are plenty of startups working on improving food production methodologies or connecting new supply chain points. But what about the financial mechanisms that help farmers bankroll their operations? According to Jim O'Brien, CEO at Wisconsin-based Agrograph, the agricultural lending industry is overdue for a makeover.

"The agricultural lending process is slow, manual, and opaque," he told AFN. "It begins at a lender's office, takes days to weeks to complete, and is based largely on personal reputation. There are no analytical tools or processes to rate a farm, its soil, or yield production against a regional benchmark."

Instead, ag lenders rely on anecdotal appraisal reports, US Department of Agriculture estimates, and personal experience, he said.

"The result is a slow process with mismatched price versus risk that neither benefits the farmer nor the bank."

Agrograph's fintech offering aims to streamline this procedure while providing enhanced transparency and standardization for all parties.

"We see the entire agricultural lending process being transformed. And this begins with process automation and risk-based pricing that is initiated online and provides multiple offers within minutes - resulting in more competition and better rates for farmers in need of financing," O'Brien said.

Agrograph is a graduate of the Wisconsin-based startup accelerator called Gener8tor. In 2018, it raised $500,000 seed funding from the Idea Fund of La Crosse.

Click here to read on and learn more from O'Brien on how Agrograph hopes to transform the agricultural lending process for farmers and banks alike.

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