Farmland values were unchanged during the first quarter,
on average, according to our survey of over 360 agricultural
bankers in the Seventh Federal Reserve District.
Furthermore, farmland values were flat during the
twelve-month period ending April 1, 1999. The bankers
also reported that cash rents paid by farmers showed little
change from last year. Loan demand strengthened
from a year ago, primarily due to the increased need for
operating funds. The survey also showed that interest
rates charged on new farm loans were essentially unchanged
during the first quarter. In addition, a weaker
pace of loan repayments continues to present a problem
for both farmers and agricultural banks.