Is the Farm Credit system positioned for lower farm incomes?

USDA is projecting a 36% decline in farm income for 2016, so farmers will be looking for some financial assistance as they lay out next year’s farm plan. Will the Farm Credit system be prepared to provide credit access through this economic downturn?

“The system is fundamentally sound and well positioned to be able to provide credit to America’s farmers,” said Kenneth Spearman, CEO of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), as he testified in front of the House Agricultural Committee this week.

The agricultural industry is facing an economic downturn after record high levels. Spearman told the Committee that the Farm Credit Administration continues to monitor the economic outlook to prevent or minimize losses.

“We’re vigilant,” Spearman said. “Our examiners are constantly making us aware of some of the clouds that may be on the horizon and we are taking action.”

Spearman said that FCA can report that the Farm Credit system’s preparation is supported by moderate loan growth, adequate capital, and reliable access to debt capital markets and that the system continues to show strong earnings performance and credit quality.

Spearman also told the committee during its review of the Farm Credit Admiration that through borrower’s rights, there are programs in place to help farmers who may be struggling with their payments.

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