The Economy Project
1:36 pm
Mon August 17, 2009

Farm Economy Looks Good; Activists Still Concerned

Kansas City , Mo. – Reports from the federal government last week underscore optimism about the farm economy. But for farm activists, there are lingering concerns.

The US Department of Agriculture and Federal Reserve reports suggest the farm economy is in relatively good shape. Among the reasons are stabilizing land and commodity values, greater demand for corn-based fuel because of higher prices for crude oil, and the potentially record crop harvests.

Roger Allison with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center says the economic picture for farmers is bright, but that commodity prices - particularly for livestock and dairy farmers - still don't allow many in the region to break even.

"We're still in a recession," says Allison, "and what happens to the general economy impacts us out here."

He says the rural economy has suffered less than other sectors because agricultural lenders weren't as highly leveraged as those on Wall Street.