(Oct. 10, 12:55 p.m.) Farmer Mac is no Freddie Mac.

Growers will likely face tighter credit conditions in the months ahead, but don’t look for a collapse of agriculture lending, said Tom Hill, chief financial officer of the Austin-based Farm Credit Bank of Texas.

“My observation is that there will be some tightening up, but nothing as dramatic as urban consumers are experiencing, because of where we started with underwriting criteria,” he said.

Agricultural lenders — at least in Texas — don’t face the same worries as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, even though the Farm Credit Banks (there are five in U.S. farm country) are government-sponsored enterprises, similar to how Fannie and Freddie were organized.

Hill said the Farm Credit institutions didn’t write the kind of risky loans that put some banks in danger.

“We never left our basic underwriting criteria,” he said. “While we may tighten up a little bit on advance rates — make them a little more conservative, make the terms a little bit shorter, reinforce underwriting covenants and conditions, underwriting covenants and conditions, the impact to a good producer won’t be adverse compared with the rhetoric you are seeing in the papers about home buyers.”

Most loans would give land buyers 70% to 75% of the land’s value.

“We’ve never advanced 100% and it was rare that we advanced over 80%,” Hill said. “We drifted a little bit, and current conditions will truly make us drift down a little bit, but we won’t be in such an adverse swing that a good producer that has been in the market will ever sense we have changed.”