The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today told a
As part of the hearing on credit availability in rural America, Williams noted that "the ag economy has experienced record prices allowing farmers to pay down debt. Livestock producers are also now benefitting from lower feed costs and higher prices providing much-needed profits. The rapid rise in farmland values has slowed or stalled, meaning that land prices are expected to be stable or slightly decline if crop prices continue declining or remain below the cost of production."
Williams also provided the subcommittee with conclusions of a recent ICBA banker survey, which found that:
• The farm bill and crop insurance are vital to extending credit,
• Reference prices are "adequate" but won't cover production costs,
• Drought and weather problems exist in many states and are a concern, and
• More farm bill details and decision-making tools are needed.
Additionally, Williams voiced community bankers' alarm over the FCS's cherry-picking activities. He said that FCS, a government-sponsored enterprise, leverages tax and funding advantages to target the financially strongest customers of community banks, destabilizing ag loan portfolios of many banks. This increases risks to the community bank industry, leading to fewer lenders and less credit availability for rural America.
In the written testimony, ICBA noted the
About ICBA: The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation's voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11974132.htm
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