Magazine : Archives : 4th Quarter 2018

From Feast to Famine

To the typical agricultural banker, the next few years look bleak. Throughout wide swaths of the farm belt, prices for corn, soybeans, milk and other commodities have been drifting lower for years. And the burgeoning trade war instigated by the Trump administration in June only made things worse, as successive rounds of retaliatory tariffs enacted by our most important trading partners have since led to double-digit declines in already depressed commodity prices. It’s an untenable situation that can’t, and won’t, last forever. It’s also a sensitive subject, given the reluctance of most bankers to criticize President Donald Trump in today’s...