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No Credit Crisis in Dakotas - Yet

Best to line up operating capital earlier than later, says NDSU ag economics professors.

Operating credit should be readily available for 2009 despite the investment banking and home mortgage crisis, says Cole Gustafson, professor NDSU Department of Agribusiness.

The Farm Credit System institutions and ag banks in North Dakota and South Dakota have "strong" balance sheets, he says. They should not be dragged down by what's happening in Washington, D.C.

However, interest rates may rise and be more restrictions may be imposed on lenders. The Farm Credit System is a government supported entity like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and may affected by tighter lending policies.

"I recommend getting your financing lined up sooner than later," Gustafson says.
Projecting prices and expenses for 2009 may a bigger challenge than obtaining credit.

Federal Reserve sources are saying the crisis could affect the economy for the next 20 years, Gustafson says.

Demand for high- value food products and energy may fall.

Ethanol will be under press.

Stock market losses inflate demand for land as a safe investment or it may thin the ranks of those who can afford to buy land.

"There will be plenty of challenges," Gustafson says.

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