Weekly Insights

August 2, 2021

What Did the Cicadas Miss? A Look Back at How Agriculture Has Changed Since 2004

By: Brent Gloy and David Widmar This summer, the 17-year brood of cicadas dramatically emerged and, at least in some parts of the country, created a lot of buzz. (Pun intended.) A lot has happened since 2004’s cicada brood were last above ground. After all, 2004 was the year that Napoleon Dynamite became a surprise […]

July 26, 2021

How Good? Reviewing the Farm Economy in 2021

By Brent Gloy and David Widmar Some Context for 2021’s Farm Economy Enthusiasm It’s the time of year where we get questions about where the farm economy might be headed. Right now, many are enjoying new optimism fueled by high commodity prices and demand – a stark contrast from a year or two ago. So, just […]

July 19, 2021

Farm Interest Rates Fall to Career Lows

In addition to strong farm incomes and commodity prices, the farm economy also benefited from lower interest rates in 2020. This week’s post reviews the latest farm interest rate data from the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Farm Interest Rates Since 1977, the Kansas City Federal Reserve has published data on non-real estate farm loans. Figure […]

July 12, 2021

Trends in Corn and Soybean Usage

For data that trend upward over time, it can be hard to consider the base level or what is “normal.” The challenge comes up frequently with yields, where 2004’s record-shattering national yield of 160.3 bushels per acre is actually a high-water mark for a big U.S. crop. There are also challenges when considering corn and soybean […]

July 6, 2021

Where is Inflation Headed in 2021?

Everyone’s Talking About Inflation These days, everyone is talking about inflation. Wall Street Journal headlines scream that inflation is the highest it’s been in 13 years. A survey by the New York Fed found that consumers are expecting inflation to hit 4% a year from now. Some wonder if we are headed for a 1970s-era […]

June 28, 2021

Farm Loan Delinquency Rate Trends

What Do Farm Loan Delinquencies Tell Us About the Farm Economy? Farm loan delinquency rates are a valuable measure for quantifying the underlying health of the farm economy. If farmers experience unexpected shortfalls in income and working capital they may be unable to meet their loan payments. An increase in farm loan delinquency rates shows […]