Isaiah Graham, vice president at Homestead Bank in St. Paul, says there are still some positive signs, especially in central Nebraska.
“The cattle side of it is still pretty strong on the sales, and on the grain side, there’s opportunities still there,” Graham says. “We’re very optimistic on how this year’s working out. We’ve had plentiful rains in our area. Some guys haven’t even turned on irrigation at all this year. That’s a big expense that we’re not outlaying.”
Graham says too many outside factors are having an impact on the economy.
“One wrong thing is said and the market overly corrects itself,” Graham says. “This should be the new normal, where we’re at right now. The days of $5, $6, $7 and $8 corn, it was an anomaly that happened and hurt a lot of farms because they got used to that.”
Graham says bankers are striving to continue working with their customers who are ag producers.
“It’s just really about having a conversation with a lot of people and showing them where the numbers are,” Graham says. “Saying, ‘Hey, can we figure out ways to become better at what we do?’ and ‘work smarter, not harder’ is a big part of that.”
Graham says producers are looking forward to completing the harvest this fall, and then they’ll think about next year, when the impact of the tariffs may worsen.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton