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Good ag credit quality persists

An ag lender says farm financial conditions across agriculture remain strong heading into this year.

Kyle Hurley is the Vice President of Agribusiness Lending with GreenStone Farm Credit Services.

“There’s still awful good credit quality across GreenStone’s book of business, and really from what I hear from other farm credit associations throughout the country,” he shares.  “While it could set up to be another challenging year, we know that last year’s challenges may not be repeated.”

He tells Brownfield cash on hand in 2023 delayed a lot of farmers from using lines of credit until the last quarter.

“We also see that there’s a lot of our debt that’s on fixed rates for the long term and so there’s a lot of insulation against these interest rate increases,” he says.

However, Hurley says feed costs caused widespread challenges for the protein sector and are likely to leave a lasting impact on some pork producers.

“I’m not sure how much impact we’ll see directly within the state of Michigan there, but I think we should expect there would be some consolidation in the pork industry nationally,” he says. “There’s a big discrepancy in terms of what big producers might be getting paid.”

Hurley says he remains optimistic livestock producers can weather 2024, especially if feed costs and interest rates remain steady to slightly lower.

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