The U.S. Department of Agriculture is freeing up $333 million to meet unprecedented demand for government-backed farm loans.

Agriculture Department Secretary Dan Glickman said last week that the agency is shifting funds from its underused direct-lending program into an indirect program that provides guarantees to banks that lend to farmers. Demand for farm loans is up 70% so far this year, leaving the $1.3 billion indirect program out of money with three months left in the fiscal year.

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