Lacking ready cash, many farmers in the 1880s made credit arrangements with store owners for supplies against the new season's crop. Interest rates were high, and farms could be lost when a crop failed. To combat this situation, farmers organized the North Carolina Farmers' Alliance in 1887 to provide loans and supplies. Unfortunately the Alliance did not have money for financing comparable to the merchants. After peaking at 100,000, membership began to dwindle in 1892, and the Alliance ended shortly thereafter.