Rain helped raise farm and ranchland values in 2014, according to a fourth-quarter survey of bankers in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (covering all or portions of Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana).

 

District-wide land value changes compared to previous year

• Dryland: +9.7%

• Irrigated cropland: +8.9%

• Ranchland: +6.3%

 

District-wide average interest rates compared to previous quarter

Fixed rate

• Feeder cattle: 6.03%, down .09%

• Other farm operating loans: 6.14%, down .08%

• Intermediate-term loans: 5.96%, down .04%

• Long-term farm real estate: 5.77%, down .03%

 

Variable rate

• Feeder cattle: 5.65%, down .04%

• Other farm operating loans: 5.71%, down .04%

• Intermediate-term loans: 5.62%, down .02%

• Long-term farm real estate: 5.39%, up .02%

 

Bankers in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported additional rain benefited pastureland; however, more rain is needed to replenish ground moisture, stock tanks and lakes. Rain slowed harvesting of crops in a couple of regions, and respondents across the district were concerned about low commodity prices and their negative impact on loan repay.

District farmland values increased in the fourth quarter. Irrigated cropland values jumped to a record high after declining two consecutive quarters. Dryland and ranchland values increased more modestly. Farmland values are all up from their year-ago levels. Farmland values are anticipated to continue trending up next quarter, although the share of bankers expecting an increase continued to decline. Credit standards continued to tighten this quarter, although the vast majority of respondents noted no change in standards.

Demand for agricultural loans picked up again this quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of increasing demand after six years of falling demand. Loan repayment rates continued to increase; however, loan renewals and extensions declined. Volumes for a majority of loan types continued to decrease. However, increases were seen in volumes of feeder cattle loans, crop storage loans and operating loans.

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