Rural Bankers in 10 States Worry Over Farm Loan Defaults

A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019.

More than 4 of every 10 bankers questioned for the Rural Mainstreet survey for January said they expect farm loan defaults to be the year’s biggest challenge.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says their outlook is being negatively influenced by tariffs, trade tensions, weak commodity prices and the partial federal government shutdown.

The survey’s overall index dropped to 51.5 from December’s 54.2. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.