Spring Credit Crunch
Planting Time Yields Stress, Foreclosures
Oklahoma wheat farmer Ron Voth mocks the bankers, bureaucrats and politicians presiding over the worst farm credit crunch since the Depression: “The people in high-backed swivel chairs call it a necessary time of adjustment for over-investment.”1 Voth, president of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, calls it a disaster. As spring planting advances northward across the nation's agricultural heartland, he and many other farmers expect a bitter harvest of failure and foreclosures.
Agricultural economists predict that 5 to 10 percent of the Midwestern farmers won't get the credit necessary to seed a new crop. The Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), lender to those rejected elsewhere, sent out 65,000 delinquency notices in February, marking the end of a two-year, court-imposed moratorium on ...