Rural Issue

Bankers report sheds new light on slumping ag economy

A report by the American Bankers Association shows U.S. ag banks increased agricultural lending by more than five percent in 2018.

ABA’s research team examined the performance of the 1,700 banks that specialize in ag lending, which they define as banks whose ratio of domestic farm loans to total domestic loans is greater or equal to the industry average.

Regionally, 12 farm banks in the Northeast increased farm loans by nearly 17 percent.

In the South, 180 banks increased farm loans by more than seven percent.

Of the Corn Belt’s 840 ag banks, farm loans grew by about five percent.

There was a four and-a-half percent increase amongst the 670 banks located in the Plains.

And the West region’s 60 farm banks increased ag loans about five and-a-half percent.

The report also found most ag banks are profitable, 94 percent, with more than 60 percent reporting higher earnings.

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