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Ag lenders report improving conditions in 9th district

Federal Reserve surveys lenders in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana and northern Wisconsin to see how agriculture is faring.

The lenders in the Ninth Federal Reserve District surveyed for the third quarter 2020 survey report steady loan repayment and declining loan demand from a year earlier.

The survey of 62 lenders took place in October. Lenders were asked about agricultural conditions from July-September 2020 in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. Michigan lenders aren't surveyed for this report, said Regional Outreach Director Joe Mahon, as agriculture isn't a primary industry in the region.

The headline, Mahon said, is that while agricultural conditions are difficult, there has been an improvement owing both to the rally in core commodity prices and federal government assistance.

Mahon stressed that the survey isn't a scientific survey, rather a survey of experts who work in agricultural banking. The surveys are conducted four times a year: In January, April, July and October, the month following the quarter end.

The lenders expect the increase in commodity prices to continue in quarter four, with agricultural exports to China in particular supporting commodity prices, he said. Lenders also expect a further decrease in loan demand, indicating that the cash situation is improving.

Click through the slideshow to see more information from the survey.

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