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State Ag Bankers Anticipate More Lending, Refinances in 2020
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/12/2019

With milk prices on the way up and better trade news on the horizon, Wisconsin's agricultural bankers are optimistic about the year ahead. However, they do anticipate that their customers will need some restructuring as they head toward financial recovery.

In a recent poll of rural lenders conducted by the Wisconsin Bankers Association, just over half of those asked say they anticipate an increase in ag loans during 2020, with 31 percent indicating the current lending levels will continue for the foreseeable future.

"Bankers value the farms, agribusiness, and hardworking people that make up the communities they serve," said WBA President Rose Oswald Poels. "It's important for the ag community to have Wisconsin banks to help them through these tough times. Bankers are dedicated to serving their ag customers, even when a loan or other financial product isn't the best solution."

Survey results show that liquidity topped the list of concerns bankers had for conditions facing their agricultural borrowers. That was followed by farm-level incomes and uncertainty around tariffs and trade.

When asked about specific agricultural segments, dairy was the highest ranked area of concern for ag bankers. Farms that raise grains, beef cattle, swine, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and poultry had much less concern from their lenders.

Meanwhile, over three-quarters of the respondents expect farmland prices to stay the same in 2020, while only four percent predict an increase in values.

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