Demographics

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    June 7th, 2016


    Farm Debt is Growing

    The Kansas City Fed just released a report indicating that farm debt is accumulating at a faster pace.  Farmers with carryover debt increased from 18% of loans to 29% of loans in the first quarter of 2016.  Also, 18% of total loans made in the first quarter involved restructuring existing debt to meet short-term liquidity […]

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    May 20th, 2016


    Farmland Values Continue to Drop

    The Chicago Federal Reserve just released their First Quarter 2016 Ag Letter showing that farmland values continue to trend lower.  The district covers most of the I states in the corn belt and show the following year-over-year changes in farmland values: Illinois – Minus 5% Indiana – Minus 2% Iowa – Minus 5% Michigan – […]

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    March 3rd, 2016


    Final FSA Yields More Likely to be Under NASS Yields?

    There is a lot of chatter regarding the lack of ARC-CO payments for the 2014 crop year due to yields coming in higher than what farmers might have expected for their county.  When we were doing Farm Bill analysis about two years ago, we had taken a look at how final FSA yields compared to […]

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    January 24th, 2016


    Continued Headwinds for Ag

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City provides several publications throughout the year on trends in the farming sector for their region (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico).  In an article titled “Supply and Demand Fundamentals Weighing on Ag Economy”, it does a good job of outlining the headwinds that Ag still […]

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    December 15th, 2015


    Iowa Land Values Drop 3.9% from 2014

    Iowa State University has performed a survey of Iowa land values since 1941.  Nominal land values peaked in 2013 and for 2015, the values decreased by $310 to an average $7,633 per acre or drop of 3.9%.  Iowa is split into 9 zones, 3 along the top part of the state, 3 in the middle […]

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    November 4th, 2015


    Social Security Potpourri

    In our last post, we had indicated that the option to “File and Suspend” for social security benefits is coming to an end.   This post will expand on that a bit. Under the “File and Suspend” method, married couples could have the higher income spouse elect to file for benefits (currently age 66), but then suspend the […]

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    November 1st, 2015


    File & Suspend Will Be No More

    The budget bill that was finalized this week eliminates a strategy for social security recipients called “File and Suspend”.  Under this strategy, the high income earner could file for benefits, allow his lower earning spouse to get benefits before full retirement age and then “suspend” their benefits until age 70 to lock in the additional […]

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    October 12th, 2015


    Rural Main Street Index Falls Into Negative Numbers

    Creighton University publishes a monthly rural main street index designed to give a reading on the overall health of the farm/rural economy.  In their most recent release from September, after several years in positive territory (over 50 on a 1-100 index), the index finally fell into a negative reading at 49.  Now, this is only […]

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    September 16th, 2015


    Additional Comments About KC Fed Ag Symposium

    Back in July, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank held an Ag Symposium (which they have done annually since 2010).  The first part of the symposium was a presentation by Dr. Michael Boehlje of Purdue on “The Ag Outlook: An Economic Downturn“.  Here are some my observations from that presentation: Real US Corn revenue per […]

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    August 17th, 2015


    First Day of the Midwest Crop Tour

    Today was the first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.  This is my sixth straight trip on the tour and after spending the last three years on the Eastern Leg, I decided to spend this year on the Western Leg.  My expectations for today was to see good crops in South Dakota and […]

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