Prices for farm and energy commodities "have increased recently but remain well below a year ago—16 percent lower for farm products and 8 percent for energy products—which means less overall income in the region," Jordon writes, "Average farmland prices declined for the 29th straight month, registering 26.7 on the survey scale. That’s a slight improvement from a month ago but still shows prices dropping.The bankers reported average cash rents of $211 per acre, down 7 percent from a year ago, although farmland rents vary widely across the states."
"Farm equipment manufacturers and dealers are suffering from 'frail' sales, Goss said, traced again to the lower prices for farm goods," Jordon write.s "Goss said rural employment in the states is in neutral, slightly below a year ago. That’s not as positive as the 1.7 percent gain in employment in the states’ urban areas. The bankers also expect continued economic decline, with a Confidence Index of 34.8 based on their view of local economies six months from now. A year ago, that index stood at 47.0. Home sales in rural areas remained strong, with an index of 58.9, about the same as a year ago."