News

Deflationary Threat in U.S. Farmbelt

Thank goodness for farmers! Without them, our kitchen tables just wouldn't look the same.

It not only takes hard work to bring us the food we enjoy, but often, a lot of perserverence.

Farmers have often had to struggle with hostile forces -- like drought, flooding, extreme temperatures, insects, predatory animals and so on.

Today, you can add deflationary forces to that list.

Here's a March 20 article excerpt from Ohio's Country Journal:

Iowa attorney Joe Peiffer spent the latter half of February helping some of his clients try to restructure debt and get operating loans for 2019 after these farmers found out their past lenders weren't going to continue financing them.

"Right now, we're having many people find out shortly before they have to pay rent that they aren't going to have financing," said Peiffer, who works with farmers in Iowa and Illinois.....

At the well-known farmer support organization, Farm Aid, officials say they have added staffers for the group's hotline, which has seen a doubling in crisis call volumes.

Peiffer and others see more distressed farmers looking for help even as broader debt indicators show a farm economy, while certainly down from levels five to 10 years ago, not in crisis. Overall, farm loan delinquency rates at banks remain around 2%, according to Federal Reserve and FDIC numbers....

Farm Service Agency, which used to be considered the lender of last resort, has seen its rate of delinquent borrowers rise from 16.97% in 2013 (the height of farm income) to 19.41% now....

Some of the increased financial work is with farmers trying to head off a crisis.

Relatedly, Elliott Wave International's April Global Market Perspective, a monthly publication that covers 40+ worldwide markets, showed this chart and said:

Farmland

This chart of Iowa farmland prices confirms the presence of powerful deflationary pressures. After rising in an impulse wave, which should look familiar to Elliott wave enthusiasts, prices peaked in 2013.

Stress is clearly rising in the farm belt.

Farm debt is up a third from $300 billion to $400 billion since 2013.

Keep in mind that EWI's analysts anticipate that deflation will extend beyond farming.

Read the free report, "What You Need to Know Now About Protecting Yourself from Deflation."

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