Today’s income and cash flow statements look very similar to the 1980s. Agricultural economist David Kohl says the one big difference is land values. “Land constitutes 83 percent of the farm balance sheet. The reason we don’t have a repeat of the 1980s, land has held its resiliency.” However, the trend of leveraging land to refinance operating loans may be coming to an end. “The key will be when banks or Farm Credit say no to the refi and that land comes onto the market.” If too much farmland becomes available, Kohl says land values will decline. Kohl, who is professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, spoke at the National Agricultural Bankers Conference in Omaha.
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