ISSUE DATE: 08/20/2012
By Larry Dreiling
Strong capital spending and investments boosted farm lending at commercial banks in the first half of 2012.
During the first quarter, commercial banks reported a 1.4 percent increase in total agricultural loan volume, led by stronger gains in non-real estate farm loans, according to a recent national survey of agricultural loans conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The survey points to additional gains in the second quarter as the volume of non-real estate farm loans issued during the first full week of May were almost 3 percent higher than year-ago levels.
Farmers continued to invest heavily in farm machinery, equipment and structures such as grain bins, machine sheds and land improvements. Bankers expected farm capital spending to remain strong over the next few months. In contrast, farm operating loan demand remained sluggish as farmers paid off operating debts and used cash to prepay input costs.
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