Great Plains Economy Mending, Says Report

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The farm economy in the Great Plains states continued to mend during the final quarter of 1987, according to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Farm land prices and other rural financial gauges mostly improved during the three months that ended Dec. 31, as they have been doing for about 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank's February report.

The report covers the Tenth Federal Reserve District - Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Of the more than dozen indicators, only two failed to register solid improvements, according to economists Mark Drabenstott and Lynn Gibson, who prepared the report from a survey of 151 bankers in the district.

Many banks in the district say they are still not writing as many farm loans as they think comfortable for their own profits' sake, and the interest rates farmers pay on farm operating loans are still in the unusually high 11.5 percent range that prevailed through most of 1987.

The average value of district farm land, the most important indicator, increased 2.2 percent during the fourth quarter. …