A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows nearly two-thirds of banks in the region have raised farm loan collateral requirements on fears of weakening farm income.
The Rural Mainstreet survey for February showed nearly one-third of banks report an increase in the farm loan rejection rate for the same reason.
The survey’s overall index dropped to 50.2 from January’s 51.5. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the rural economy appears to be expanding outside of agriculture, but that tariffs and low agriculture commodity prices continue to weaken the farm sector.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.