Brent Gloy

Warning signs, although farm sector finances are relatively strong

After a review of farm-sector financial indicators, economist Brent Gloy says, "Caution going forward would be appropriate," particularly for operators who are borrowing money. The commonly used debt-to-asset ratio is low, Gloy writes at the Agricultural Economic Insights blog a day before USDA updates its farm-income forecast, but lesser-known yardsticks, such as the debt-service ratio and times-interest-earned ratio "indicate that financial conditions are as poor as any seen for some time."

Higher costs for farmers when interest rates rise

If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, "it will mean higher costs for many producers" at a point when farm income is falling and growers are making increased use of credit, says Brent Gloy at Agricultural Economic Insights.

Interest rates, the next threat to farmland prices

With sharply lower commodity prices at hand, "one of the key supports for sky high farmland values is changing rapidly," writes economist Brent Gloy at the Agricultural Economic Insights blog.