The news in farm lending these days has been nothing but rosy. Reuters reported recently that ag loans are up 14 percent to almost $82 billion last year. That’s remarkable considering the historic drought that struck much of the country and speaks volumes to the good times we’re seeing in agriculture.
Last year, farmers saw cash income of $133 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture. Those projections were at near-record levels thanks to high commodity prices at market and an increase in a demand for food globally – all good things for those in agriculture.
Even with all that lending last year, balance sheets remain strong. Farm debt-to-asset ratios are expected to fall 40 points this year to just 10.2 percent. This would be a record for farm credit and supports the idea that these high profit margins will continue.
For anyone who might have gotten lost with all those statistics, here’s the boiled-down version: High agriculture profits without a lot of debt mean good times for farmers.
This also means it’s a good time for farm operations to grow. Times of high profits and low debt mean farms can take on new agriculture loans to add acreage or buy equipment. At Bankers South, we employ experts at helping farmers plan for expansion. We’ll help you develop a strategy and come up with ag loan options to succeed at your goals.
For many farms, the best option is with AgAmerica loans, a program that competes with and often beats all other farm loan rates. For others, it’s a hard-money loan based on collateral. And some may choose an equity line where you can take out money as your operation grows.
Whichever you choose, you can take comfort in knowing now is the time to grow. With record profits and low debt ratios, there has never been a better time to be in agriculture.