MINNEAPOLIS, February 18, 2004—Agricultural financial conditions were strong during the fourth quarter throughout the Ninth Federal Reserve District, according to the Minneapolis Fed’s fourth quarter agricultural credit conditions survey. Ag lenders reported that loan repayments and farm incomes have increased. Corn yields were robust, while soybean yields suffered due to drought. Dairy farmers have begun to rebound from previous declines in prices. Cattle prices through 2003 led to higher incomes, but the effects of mad cow disease are expected to play out this year. The outlook for 2004 is promising, as lenders predicted an increase in farm income and loan demand.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ quarterly survey included 130 agricultural bankers in Montana, North and South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is not part of the survey. See the complete results.
As one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis contributes to a variety of Federal Reserve System functions, including operation of a nationwide payments system, distribution of the nation’s currency and coin, supervision and regulation of member banks and bank holding companies, and serving as a fiscal agent for the U.S. Treasury. Additionally, the president of the Minneapolis Fed serves as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.