RMI Shows Rural Economy Stuck In Neutral

June 19, 2017 10:39 AM

Bankers throughout the Midwest and Great Plains aren’t looking for farmland values to improve over the next year as the latest Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University shows the rural economy stuck in neutral.

The June survey of agricultural conditions shows the index dropped slightly to the midpoint of 50, indicating growth neutral.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming project farmland values will decrease another three percent over the next 12 months.

As far as income, almost ¼ of bankers report rejecting a higher percentage of farmer loan applications. Roughly 60 percent report boosting collateral requirements on farm loans.

“The president understands that the prosperity and recovery has not been uniform ad he understands that many people and I gave some statistics about rural poverty,” said Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture. “They’ve not come up to pre-2008 [levels] in rural areas.”

These comments from the secretary of agriculture came following the inaugural meeting of the interagency task force on agriculture and rural prosperity. The meeting included several cabinet secretaries who are charged as a group with improving the quality of life for people in rural areas. 

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