Agriculture lender Farm Credit Services of Mid-America announced 2012 first quarter earnings of $ 72.9 million, compared to $ 48.7 million in the same period in 2011. Owned and managed assets surpassed $ 18 billion, a 6.8 percent increase over March, 2011.
Farm Credit’s first quarter performance was directly related to the strong agricultural economy and robust farm land values. “While farmers are able to pay down debt, we saw an increase in new loan activity, particularly on mortgage loans,” said Bill Johnson, president and chief executive officer. “For the first quarter, loan closings were up more than 20 percent for farm land purchases and almost 50 percent for consumer mortgages.”
Credit quality of the association’s portfolio was also stable. Adversely classified loans decreased to 3.8 percent of the loan portfolio compared to 3.9 percent at December 31, 2011.
The association’s commitment to rural America remained strong and Johnson sited conversion activity as one example of that commitment. “Since the beginning of the year, Farm Credit has converted – or refinanced – nearly 15,000 customer loans representing more than $ 2.2 billion in volume with a customer interest expense savings of $ 57 million over a three year period. Our fee for conversions is minimal with very little paperwork involved and our customers are often surprised that we can lower their interest rate even on fixed rate loans.”
Another way the association provided value to rural communities was through the availability of long-term fixed rate financing for farms. “Almost 50 percent of our customers have fixed rate loans of 10 years or longer. In today’s volatile farm environment, one way to ensure that the cost of farmer’s financing remains consistent is through fixed rates.”
Johnson added that the association’s strategic plan calls for continued growth. “We’ll do that by making certain that our products and programs fit our customers’ needs and adapting to the changing demands of a new agriculture marketplace. It’s all about providing value to those who live and work in rural America.”
About Farm Credit Mid-America
Farm Credit Mid-America is an $ 18.3 billion financial services cooperative serving more than 95,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating equipment and housing and related services such as crop insurance, and vehicle, equipment and building leases. For more information about Farm Credit, call 1-800-444-FARM or visit them on the web at www.e-farmcredit.com.
Source: Farm Credit Mid-America