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Regional Farm Credit Conditions Improving

Clint Thompson Economy

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Further strengthening of the U.S. Ag economy bolstered farm credit conditions in the first quarter of 2021. A Federal Reserve survey of agriculture credit conditions shows farm loan repayment rates continue to improve rapidly.

After many years of growing financial stress and weakness in the Ag economy, bankers reported that farm income was higher than a year ago for the second consecutive quarter, and demand for farm loans weakened. Interest rates on farm loans remained at historic lows during the quarter. Along with the better financial conditions, the lower interest rates helped to support widespread increases in farmland values. Stronger markets for most of the major commodities have led to higher prices and expanding profit opportunities across the sector in recent months.

With the help of robust government support due to COVID-19, Ag sector conditions have led to a rapid improvement in farm finances. While prospects aren’t as strong in the cattle industry, and drought continues to stress producers in many areas of rural America, the overall outlook for farm income and credit conditions remained significantly improved from recent years.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)