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Rural Midwest Ag Economy Remains Sour

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For a 15th straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth neutral. The Index compiled by Creighton University rose to 36.6 from October’s 31.8, but remains below the growth neutral level of 50 on a scale of 0-100. Bankers questioned in the 10 Midwestern states included in the survey cite a negative cash flow for one-fifth of livestock farmers and the 36th consecutive month of lower farmland prices as contributing to the pessimistic measurement. Survey organizer Ernie Goss says, “Farm commodity prices continue to slam Rural Mainstreet economies.” Over the past 12 months, livestock commodity prices have tumbled 27.2 percent and grain commodity prices have slumped by 16.6 percent.

The farmland and ranchland-price index for November climbed to a frail 30.8 from October’s 25.0. Meanwhile, the November farm equipment-sales index increased to 15.4 from 13.1 from October.
Source: NAFB News Service