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April RMI survey: Rural economy in negative territory

The latest Rural Mainstreet Index has slumped below growth neutral for an eighth straight month.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says, “The ag sector or farm sector is just not doing well right now. That’s being reflected in our survey.”

The index is a monthly survey of ag bankers in 10 states including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Goss tells Brownfield the April report did have a surprise. “Farm loan delinquency rates are getting lower instead of higher. Even with the farmer in a not such good state in terms of commodity prices and farm income, the farmers still continue to repay loans on time.”

He says farm equipment sales continued their downfall. “Of course higher interest rates and the uncertainty facing the farmer out there is causing the farmer to hold on and wait to see when they will see better agricultural commodity prices.”

Goss says the survey revealed farmland prices expanded for the 53rd month in a row.

AUDIO: Creighton University economist Ernie Goss (4-19-2024)

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