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Bob Larson Farmer Mac Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: September 07, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. When it comes to Ag lending, much like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are to home buyers, Farmer Mac has got you covered. I recently spoke with Farmer Mac’s Director of Economic & Financial Research, Jackson Takach and asked him what the biggest financial challenges facing producers is today …

TAKACH … “I think it’s really a supply-side issue. So, there’s more in storage so depending on what commodity or industry you’re talking about, but virtually it’s in all commodity groups. You’re seeing more supplies, more competition from foreign sources. So, if you’re talking about fruits and vegetables in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve got competition from Canada, from Chile, and South America, North America, you name it. People are making more of the things we make.”

And, Takach says our growers are feeling it …

TAKACH … “So, that competition is creating pressure, downward pressure on prices and trying to process those things, it takes time to adjust to a lower-priced environment. And, we’re dealing with that now. It’s another year of, sort of, lower prices, tighter margins, lower profitability and I think farmers feel that. You hear about it when you talk to producers out there in the fields.”

Takach says the elephant in the barn these days, is NAFTA …

TAKACH … “A hundred percent. Yeah, NAFTA’s going to be a really important trade agreement to try and renegotiate, to try to get a better deal for all parties involved. I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone to try and improve the relationships and get more for all parties involved.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the financial challenges growers are facing these days and what Takach says needs to happen to turn things around.

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