Bankers responding to the fourth-quarter survey reported improved conditions across most regions of the Eleventh District, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Crop yields have been good, particularly for corn and cotton, although some areas have reported problems with harvests due to excessive moisture. Respondents noted prices as being generally weak, particularly for cattle.
Demand for agricultural loans overall declined for a 13th consecutive quarter. Loan renewals and extensions decelerated, and the rate of loan repayment declined after flattening out in the third quarter. Loan volume fell across all major categories compared with a year ago, with the sharpest declines in dairy, farm machinery and feeder cattle loans.
District cropland values ticked up during the fourth quarter, while ranchland values declined. According to bankers who responded in both this quarter and fourth quarter 2017, Texas nominal cropland and ranchland values increased year over year. Southern New Mexico respondents indicated an increase in irrigated cropland and ranchland values but a decline in dryland values, and northern Louisiana respondents reported an increase in cropland and ranchland values.