FarmPolicy

November 21, 2019

Ag Economy- Trade; Budget; Tax Extenders; Policy Issues; and, CFTC

Agricultural Economy- Trade Issues

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board released its Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions. Commonly referred to as the “Beige Book,” the report included several observations with respect to the U.S. agricultural economy.

The Fifth District (Richmond) noted that, “Some growers planned fewer equipment purchases relative to a year ago;” while the Tenth District (Kansas City) indicated that, “Farm income expectations fell sharply since the last survey period as above- average corn and soybean yields were not expected to fully offset low crop prices. District contacts reported current levels of farm income that were significantly lower than last year despite some support from crop insurance and strong profits in the livestock sector. Although reduced income for crop producers had contributed to a rise in the need for short-term loans to the farm sector, agricultural bankers reported that sufficient funds were available for qualified borrowers. Following several years of very strong growth, District cropland values declined slightly in recent months and were holding just above year-ago levels.”

And the Ninth District (Minneapolis) pointed out that, “Farm incomes continued to be affected by lower crop prices; in contrast, livestock and dairy producers benefited from lower feed costs and high output prices.”

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