Ag News: Farmers Borrowing Less and Tractor Sales Soar
**With federal pandemic aid in their hands, farmers and ranchers borrowed far less money than usual from ag bankers during the first quarter of this year on operating expenses.
A Kansas City Fed summary found the volume of non-real-estate farm loans was about 10% less than a year ago, continuing a recent trend.
According to www.agriculture.com, the amount of new operating debt declined to the lowest level for the first quarter since 2012, while the average maturity of those loans was the highest for any quarter on record.
**The sale of tractors for March in the U.S. were up 81% compared to the same month last year, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s monthly “Flash Report.”
www.agrimarketing.com reports, for the first quarter of 2021, just over 63,000 tractors were sold which compares to more than 41,000 sold thru March 2020, a 52% increase year to date.
Combine sales for the month, were up 7%.
**The USDA is looking to buy as much as 485,000 cartons of domestic grapes for the school lunch program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
According to www.thepacker.com, bids from U.S. grape shippers are due April 27th.
Accepted bids will be announced by May 11th, and fresh grape deliveries are to be made between May 31st and July 28th.
Questions can be directed to Nick Wiber at Nick.Wiber@usda.gov.