- For an 11th straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth neutral.
- Farmland prices remained below growth neutral for the 32nd straight month.
- Bank CEOs reported a 6 percent decline in farmland prices over the past year.
- Bankers expect cash expenses will exceed cash revenues for one in five crop farmers in the region.
- Bank CEOs expect farm loan defaults to grow by 5.4 percent over the next year.
Overall: After improving for four of the last five months, the index, which ranges between 0 and 100, sank to 39.8 from 43.9 in June.
This is the 11th straight month the overall index has remained below growth neutral.
“Over the past 12 months, farm prices have fallen by 9 percent, and livestock prices are off by 16 percent. These weak agriculture commodity prices are pushing the overall Rural Mainstreet economy lower,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.
As a result of weaker farm economic conditions, bankers expect almost one in five crop farmers, or 19.5 percent, to suffer negative cash flows where cash expenses exceed cash revenues for 2016.