Thursday, July 13, 2017

Federal Reserve looks at farm economy by district

The Federal Reserve Board's latest "Beige Book" update about the U.S. economy includes several observations about agriculture in several banking regions. Here's a sample, thanks to the Farmdoc Project at the University of Illinois:

Atlanta: “Heavy rainfall due to Tropical Storm Cindy exacerbated areas’ crop moisture conditions in much of the District that were already categorized as abnormally moist to excessively wet, and there were early indications of some crop damage. . . . On a year-over-year basis, prices paid to farmers in April were up for cotton, soybeans, and broilers but remained down for corn, rice, beef, and eggs.”

Chicago: “The agricultural sector continued to operate under stress in late May and June, with reports of some crop and dairy operations exiting or filing for bankruptcy. . . . Milk prices were lower, which contributed to mounting losses for many dairy operations.”

Minneapolis: “Agricultural conditions weakened since the previous report. Severe drought conditions affected the Dakotas and parts of Montana, hampering crop progress and triggering disaster relief payments to ranchers in some areas.”

Kansas City: “Farm revenue remained subdued since the previous reporting period, as most agricultural commodity prices remained low. . . . Livestock operators were slightly more optimistic than earlier, as cattle prices increased modestly from a year ago. Hog prices also increased modestly from the previous reporting period as global demand for meat products remained relatively strong.”

For the full Farmdoc excerpts from the report, click here. For the report, go here.

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