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Abstract

For the second quarter of 2013, “good” farmland values were up 17 percent from a year ago in the Seventh Federal Reserve District. However, agricultural land values registered no gain in the second quarter relative to the fi rst quarter of 2013, according to a survey of 211 agricultural bankers. The last time there was no quarterly increase in agricultural land values was in 2009. Generally, the stellar year-over-year gains in farmland values across the fi ve District states masked the comparative weakness of the quarterly results. Moreover, the percentage of survey respondents anticipating farmland values to fall during the third quarter of 2013 was the same as the percentage predicting them to rise (7 percent); 86 percent of responding bankers expected farmland values to be stable. The District’s agricultural credit conditions were generally better in the second quarter of 2013 than a year earlier. The availability of funds for lending by agricultural banks was up relative to a year ago; the banks’ deposits were enhanced not only by high crop prices but also by payments for insured losses due to last year’s drought. Repayment rates for non-real-estate farm loans were higher than a year ago, with 94 percent of the respondents’ agricultural loan portfolio having no signifi cant repayment problems. Renewals and extensions of non-real-estate farm loans declined from the level of a year earlier. The responding bankers perceived that non-real-estate loan demand for the April through June period of 2013 was below that for the same period last year. For the second quarter of 2013, the District’s average loan-to-deposit ratio edged up to 64.6 percent—12.6 percentage points below the average level desired by survey respondents. Finally, interest rates on farm loans rose for the fi rst time since early 2011.

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