Farm Loan Volumes Holding at High Levels

Levels of non-real estate farm lending at commercial banks remained high in the fourth quarter of 2015 despite a modest decline from a year earlier. Loans used to finance current operating expenses remained at record levels, while volumes for most other types of non-real estate loans declined slightly. As farm income declined again in 2015, persistently high short-term lending needs amplified concerns about farm sector liquidity moving into 2016, especially if farmers’ profit margins remain low. Despite these concerns, agricultural banks continued to report strong loan performance and solid returns on their assets.

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