Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its Agricultural Credit Survey for the third quarter of 2017. The Fed update indicated that, "Demand for agricultural loans overall decreased for the eighth consecutive quarter. Loan renewals and extensions continued to increase."
Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Economist Alejandro Plastina penned a recent article titled, "Financial Stress in Iowa Farms: 2014-2016." Today’s update recaps some of the key findings from the ISU article.
Reuters writer Rod Nickel reported yesterday that, "On Canada’s fertile Prairies, dominated by the yellows and golds of canola and wheat, summers are too short to grow corn on a major scale. But Monsanto Co is working to develop what it hopes will be North America’s fastest-maturing corn, allowing farmers to grow more in Western Canada and other inhospitable climates, such as Ukraine...The question, amid historically high supplies and low grain prices, is whether the world really needs more corn."
An update on Friday from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations indicated that, "After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 percent of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition released today. At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide."
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Friday's Des Moines Register that, "After three years of decline, Iowa farmland values bumped nearly 3 percent higher this year, but experts say it's unlikely a signal the ag downturn has turned a corner. Iowa farmland values are climbing because of limited supply of farms for sale, outweighing concerns about low corn and soybean prices that drive income from the land, experts say."
Cole Epley and Barbara Soderlin reported on the front page of the Money section in Friday's Omaha World-Herald that, "Farmers heading into harvest season have reason to believe the nation’s struggling agriculture economy won’t get much worse. Still, there is only faint hope that it will get much better anytime soon."
Last month, the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri released its latest baseline update for U.S. agricultural markets. Recall that in its March baseline report, FAPRI indicated that, "The latest analysis of national and global agricultural trends from the University of Missouri indicates continued financial pressure on United States farm sector." Today's post summarizes highlights from the August FAPRI baseline report, which noted that, "the outlook now is more nuanced."
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its August 2017 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.
Yesterday, the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) released its August 2017 Farm Income Forecast. This was the first revision of the initial net farm income forecast released by ERS in February. Today's update provides a recap of highlights from the farm income forecast. As the discussion over the next Farm Bill continues, the ERS update provides an important reference point regarding the current status of the U.S. farm economy.
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City each released updates regarding farm income, farmland values and agricultural credit conditions from the second quarter of this year. Today’s update provides a brief overview of yesterday’s reports.