Is It 1980 Again? Credit Impacts of the Current Agricultural Economic Environment

Financial Institutions

March 01, 2016
by Jeffrey Davey, CRC

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Jeffrey Davey Jeffrey Davey, CRC
Manager, Loan Review

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The agriculture industry has experienced vast changes in commodity prices over the past several years.  The U.S. average farm price of corn increased from approximately $3.00 per bushel during the 2006-2007 marketing year to over $5.00 per bushel during the three marketing years from 2010-2011 through 2012-2013.   During this period, the profitability of grain producers increased dramatically with consequential impact on the financial condition and spending patterns of farm operators throughout the Midwest.  Balance sheets were strengthened as earnings and appreciating values increased liquidity, equity, and debt service coverage in the industry.  As the income of grain farms increased, peaking at about $263,000 in 2012,  production, land, capital expenditures (CAPEX), and living expenses increased during that time frame as well. 

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