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Mainstreet survey sees healthy growth

A monthly survey of rural bankers in the Midwest finds farmers remain in a strong cash position.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss tells Brownfield the October Rural Mainstreet Index declined fractionally for the month but remains above neutral.

“The rural-based economy is moving ahead—healthy growth,” he says.

Solid grain prices, record-low interest rates, and growing exports are cited as factors supporting the rural economy.

“Eight out of 10 bankers reported that farmers were in very good solid cash positions, some of the best numbers since 2012 or 2013, which unfortunately for the bankers means the farmers are borrowing less,” he explains.

Farmland and ag equipment indexes slipped some from September but remain strong.  Bank CEOs say congestion at domestic transportation hubs has caused the greatest supply chain disruptions for farmers.

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