Rural Mainstreet Index: Lowest Level Since April 2009 Recession

October 21, 2016 02:43 PM

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the 45th president will inherit a sputtering farm economy.

Ernie Goss of Creighton University released the October Rural Mainstreet Index. The benchmark fell to its lowest level since the last recession in April of 2009. This is the 14th straight month below neutral growth.

AgDay host Clinton Griffiths spoke to Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack about the farm economy and the challenges ahead.

“We’re sending out the CROP payments now so folks are getting a little resource this fall to be able to satisfy their banker and be able to make payments,” said Vilsack. “We also take a look at where the debt-to-equity ratios are and how many facilities are in fact stressed, and what we see now is a debt-to-equity ratio that’s still historically low.”

Vilsack said many of the operations that are stressed are young and beginning farmers, which is one reason why USDA lent $6 billion in fiscal year 2015 for the second time in USDA’s history.

Watch Vilsack on AgDay above.

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