Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bubble Time

Research shows that if farm income dropped by 20% in Illinois, half of the state’s farmers could not make their loan payments. If land values dropped 30%, between 24% and 27% of Illinois’ producers would have a negative debt-to-asset ratio.
That's from an Agweb piece on "Weathering the Risk Storm".  Of course, there's no possibility that land values will drop so much. One thing we know for sure, real estate holds its value.  As someone famous said: "they aren't making more land."  And prices for grain are high and will remain high--the new middle classes of the world are eating meat, and we're the main exporter of grain.  But we can't expand production as fast as the world economy is growing. And there's no producing areas elsewhere to take up the slack.  So any farmer reading this should definitely go out and spend $15,000 an acre for good Iowa farmland and sleep peacefully at night.

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