Today's update looks briefly at recent reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln that shed light on trends in farmland values. Also, a recent survey from Iowa State University that provides statistical insights into farmland owners, is examined. Lastly, news articles that continue to look at the deteriorating prices of some agricultural commodities, and their resulting potential negative impacts on farm financial well-being, are also discussed.
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Tuesday's Des Moines Register that, "Iowa farmers, battling too much rain, cold — and even snow — this planting season, have a new crop of concerns that could devastate commodity prices: An escalating U.S.-China trade war that's sparked tariffs on pork and, potentially, soybeans; trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico that exploded last week following U.S. tariffs on steel imports; EPA ethanol waivers for oil refiners that undermine demand for ethanol and corn; and, divisions over a new farm bill intended to provide protection to farmers."
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its May 2018 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy.
As the House of Representatives works on passing its version of the Farm Bill this week, a report yesterday from the Kansas City Fed noted that, "bankers in the Tenth Federal Reserve District reported lower farm income and credit conditions for the fifth straight year." Meanwhile, a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that ongoing drought conditions in the southern Great Plains "could punish the agricultural sector, affecting everything from cotton to cattle to farming-equipment sales." Today's update looks briefly at these reports regarding the agricultural economy as well as recent articles highlighting House Farm Bill developments.
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and St. Louis released updates regarding farm income, farmland values and agricultural credit conditions from the first quarter of 2018. Recall that the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issued a similar update last month. Today’s update highlights core findings from Thursday's reports.
Late last month, Bloomberg writer Alan Bjerga reported that, "American farmers have managed to stay afloat despite years of shrinking crop values, the lowest incomes since the recession and a budding trade war with China. Now, they’re feeling a new squeeze -- borrowing money is getting more expensive as interest rates rise. For some, it may be fatal."
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its April 2018 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy.
On Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its quarterly Agricultural Credit Survey. Also on Monday, the American Bankers Association highlighted several 2017 farm lending variables in its annual Farm Bank Performance Report. Meanwhile, a recent news article from Minnesota documented that farm incomes in the state remained stagnant last year. Today's update highlights key points from these information sources.
Today's update looks briefly at recent news items that highlight current information on farmland values. In addition, key parts of a recent Wall Street Journal article that focused on the importance of off-farm income to U.S. farm households are also included.
A news release last week from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri indicated that, “The latest analysis of national and global agricultural trends from the University of Missouri indicates little change in net farm income this year and a slight increase in 2019. However, even with modest projected increases in commodity prices in 2019, net farm income is expected to remain far below the record level set in 2013. Good news in the report includes strong demand for meat, which offset downward pressure on prices from increased production last year."