Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.
Farm Income Down, Loan Requests Up
Farm income is down in the Midwest, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve, and that’s left more farmers relying on banks.
Low prices for crops like soybeans and corn, coupled with high input costs have pushed more farmers to apply for loans. Banks, though, have tightened lending.
Nathan Kauffman with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says there is a bright spot, though, and that’s China’s demand for American products.
“Despite some of the volatility we’ve seen in markets there the last year or so, it’s been pretty steady and we know exports are a significant part of the overall growth in the ag sector," he says.
Down the line, Kauffman says global demand for biofuels could also help U.S. agriculture bounce back.