The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth neutral in June. The monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture shows a positive growth in the region.
“Higher agricultural commodity prices and rebuilding from recent floods boosted the RMI for the month,” says Dr. Ernie Goss, founder of the index. “Despite the negatives from the ongoing trade war, almost 70% of the rural bankers support either raising or continuing tariffs.”
Jeff Bonnet is president of the Havana National Bank in Illinois, who says estimates go as high as 15 to 20 million acres that farmers couldn’t get planted to crops. Bonnet said, “Based on this information, corn prices should be nearly six dollars per bushel, if not more. What are we missing here?”
It’s the sixth time in the past seven months that the Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth neutral. Unfortunately, more than one in four bank CEOs reported rising loan defaults due to farmer financial woes. Almost half the bankers say that because of crisis-level farm income, farmers in their area have responded by selling the farm, or otherwise leaving it.
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