Farm and ranch lending by U.S. agricultural banks increased 13.9 percent, or $10 billion, in 2012, according to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report.

“The continued growth in farm loans demonstrates the important role banks play in the success of farms and ranches both large and small,” said John Blanchfield, senior vice president and director of ABA’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking. “Banks remain the most important source of ag credit holding more than half of all farm loans.”

More than 95 percent of farm banks were profitable in 2012, with 67 percent reporting an increase in earnings.

“The ag economy is strong and getting stronger with a favorable outlook. Our nation’s farm banks remain optimistic despite the challenge to find additional revenue sources,” said Blanchfield.

The South regionimproved profitability and increased farm loans by 3.7 percent, rising to $6.1 billion in 2012. Farm banks in the South employ more than 11,200 men and women.

Read the 2012 Farm Bank Performance Report on aba.com: http://www.aba.com/Press/Documents/2012FarmBankPerformance031813.pdf.

 

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