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Ag industry’s quarterly survey shows ups, downs

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The Southeastern New Mexico agricultural industry is reporting good conditions for cattle and non-irrigated farming operations due to above average rainfall earlier in the year, a decrease in ranchland values compared to last year and a depressed feed commodities market, attributed mainly to an increasing trend among dairy producers to grow their own feed supplies, according to a survey of banking industry professionals serving ranchers and farmers.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently released its quarterly survey of credit factors in the agricultural industry for 13 districts in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana served by the bank. This quarter, 133 bankers responded to the Federal Reserve survey from Sept. 5 to Sept. 13.

Other data for District 13 of Southern New Mexico indicate that values for non-irrigated and irrigated cropland has increased for third-quarter 2017 compared to third-quarter 2016, according to the bankers responding. Dryland cropland now averages 363 an acre, up 5.7 percent, and irrigated cropland now is valued at $4,100 an acre, up 5.6 percent. But the value of ranchland is averaging $280 an acre, down 12 percent from third-quarter 2016.

For all 13 districts of the Federal Bank of Dallas, the survey indicated that crop yields for the year are expected to be above average and that livestock prices remain strong. Demand for agricultural loans overall is down for the eighth consecutive quarter and is 11.1 percent lower in third-quarter 2017 compared to third-quarter 2016.

The entire report is available on the Dallas Fed website, dallasfed.org.

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