The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.
The farmland price index increased to 58.2, continuing a four-month rally to a 17-month high, but it marks just the second consecutive month above 50.0. 24% of bankers that were surveyed expect farm and ranch land prices to decline over the next six months while 14% expect prices to increase. All of the surveyed states had farmland price indexes above 50.0 while Nebraska and South Dakota had indexes in the 60’s.
The farm equipment sales index slipped for the second straight month to 41.4 from January’s 15-month high of 47.2. “I expect farm equipment sales to pick up as the farm and ranch economies improve in the months ahead,” said economist Ernie Goss of Creighton University. Goss and Bill McQuillan, CEO of CNB Community Bank of Greeley, Nebraska created the monthly economic survey back in 2005.
Lending has started to pick up on Rural Mainstreet according to the loan volume index. The index increased to a 9-month high of 55.2 and it is the first time the index is above 50.0 since June 2009. The checking-deposit index increased to 56.2 and the certificates of deposit index rose to 54.4 in March.
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