- Overall index rose to its second highest reading in the past 10 months.
- For the first time since June 2013, the farm equipment-sales index rose above growth neutral.
- For the first time since 2013, the farmland price index rose above growth neutral for three straight months.
- Bankers ranked water availability as the top 2021 farm economy issue; farm labor cost/availability was ranked as the second biggest issue or concern.
- Among 10 farm concerns for 2021, farm income and farm liquidity were the two issues of least concern. Growth in agriculture income pulled farmer borrowing down for a second straight month.
Overall: The overall index for December rose to 51.6 from November’s 46.8, but was down from October’s 53.2. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
“Recent improvements in agriculture commodity prices, federal farm support payments, and the Federal Reserve’s record low interest rates have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.