Area bankers say despite difficult times in the ag sector, they do not expect a significant number of farm loan foreclosures in the next few years.
The bankers commented after Creighton University Economic Professor Ernie Goss indicated that 10% of the Midwest bankers he surveyed this month believe “farm loan foreclosures pose the greatest threat to banking operations over the next five years.”
Platte Valley Companies Ag Lender Paul Burgner says there is no plan to shut down area ag producers. Burgner admitted “margins are tight” but loan officers knew that going into this crop season. He added “we don’t expect any big surprises or have any expectation of a large number of foreclosures.” He said it is a positive there are good crops in the field.
First State Bank President Mike Downey says there are positives even though corn prices are low due to the fact there is a large amount of the crop in storage. But Downey says “bean prices have been pretty good, sugar beets are a positive , hay prices are good and cattle prices have increased. It is not all doom and gloom for sure.”
Downey encouraged producers to diversify, even into cattle, especially with corn prices being so low. Burgner says despite the low corn prices, he believes there are opportunities on the future market to lock in prices that will help make that crop a more break-even situation.