Federal Reserve Statistical Release, E.15, Agricultural Finance Databook; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page

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Section A   |   Section B  |   Section C

The Agricultural Finance Databook is a compilation of various data on current developments in agricultural finance. Large portions of the data come from regular surveys conducted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or by Federal Reserve Banks. Other portions come from the quarterly Call Report data of commercial banks or from the reports of other financial institutions involved in agricultural lending.

Parts or all of the Agricultural Finance Databook may be copied and distributed freely. Any redistribution of selected parts of the databook should be accompanied by the front cover identifying the databook and date of issue. Remaining questions may be sent to the following address:

Agricultural Finance Databook
Mail stop 80
Division of Research and Statistics
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20551

Section A: Amount and Characteristics of Farm Loans Made by Commercial Banks

These data are for non-real-estate farm loans of $1,000 or more made by commercial banks. They are derived from quarterly sample surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve System during the first full week of the second month of each quarter. Data obtained from the sample are expanded into national estimates for all commercial banks, which are shown in the following tables.

Since May 1997, the Federal Reserve has collected data on the assessment by the lender of the risk associated with each loan, the next date that the rate of interest could be adjusted, whether the loan was callable by the bank, and whether the borrower could prepay the loan without penalty. Over time, the data on the lender's perception of the riskiness of farm loans should help provide a better picture of the effect of fluctuations in the creditworthiness of farm borrowers as farm financial conditions or the broader economic environment changes. The new data on loan repricing dates, the callability of the loan, and the existence of prepayment penalties should help to refine estimates of the duration of farm loans made by commercial banks.

Tables A.8 through A.13 contain most of the new data, whereas the other tables in this section attempt to show estimates that are comparable to those that have been presented for a number of years. However, for several quarters while the new survey was being designed, banks that left the survey panel were not replaced immediately because new replacement banks would soon have been forced to revise their newly instituted reporting procedures when the new survey form went into effect. As a result, the size of the survey panel dwindled through early 1997, and an unusually large number of new reporters (about 25) were added with the May 1997 survey. This change did not affect the validity of the May survey information, but it likely introduced sampling error, especially when the May survey results are compared with those of previous quarters.

The format and the information contained in the tables are likely to change as more of the new survey information is acquired.

Since November 1991, several survey statistics have been estimated for each of ten farm production regions as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture. These statistics, which are presented in table A.14, should be treated with some caution. Although an effort was made to choose a good regional mix of banks for the panel, the panel never has been stratified by region. Consequently, the survey results are less precise for each region than for the totals for the nation. More-detailed results from each quarterly survey were previously published in Statistical Release E.2A, Survey of Terms of Bank Lending to Farmers. Since February 1992, these results have been included at the end of section A of the databook. The E.2A was discontinued February 1992. Return to link

Section B: Selected Statistics from the Quarterly Reports of Condition of Commercial Banks

The data in tables B.1 through B.8 are prepared using data from the quarterly reports of condition and income for commercial banks. These reports changed substantially beginning in March 2001, and the information on the delinquencies and charge-offs of farm non-real-estate loans after that date is not directly comparable to that shown in earlier editions of the databook. Under the new system, banks with more than $300 million in assets or banks with foreign offices report the same information as before. However, smaller banks at which farm production loans account for more than 5 percent of total loans now report the same information on delinquencies and charge-offs of farm production loans that larger banks do. In the new reporting system, small banks at which farm production loans account for less than 5 percent of total loans are excused from reporting delinquencies or charge-offs of farm production loans. Before March 2001, these small banks had reported delinquencies and charge-offs of "agricultural loans" according to each bank's own definition, and these responses were used to help estimate total delinquencies of farm production loans. Under the new reporting system, the totals for the nation as a whole include estimates of delinquencies and charge-offs of non-real-estate farm loans for small banks that hold about 35 percent of the volume of such loans that is outstanding. All banks continue to report delinquencies and charge-offs of loans that are secured by farm real estate, which are shown in tables B.4 and B.5.

Examination of total lending at banks that have a high exposure to agricultural loans provides an alternative perspective on the agricultural lending situation. Agricultural banks in table B.4 through table B.9 are those that have a proportion of farm loans (real-estate plus non-real-estate) to total loans that is greater than the unweighted average at all banks. The current estimate of this average can be found in the far right column of table B.8.

Information about failed banks (table B.9) is obtained from news releases of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with agricultural banks in our tabulation defined as in the previous paragraph. Return to link

Section C: Reserve Bank Surveys of Farm Credit Conditions and Farm Land Values

Data are from quarterly surveys of agricultural credit conditions at commercial banks. Currently, these surveys are conducted during each quarter in five Federal Reserve Districts. The surveys differ considerably in size, as is noted in the information below. They also differ in subject matter covered (as is evident in the tables), wording of basically similar questions, and type of banks covered. Most of the differences in wording are reflected in the use of different column headings on the two pages of each table. The states included in each District are indicated in the table headings; states that fall only partly within a given District are marked with asterisks.

In the second quarter of 2002, the Kansas City and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Banks revised their surveys. Questions were changed, and it was not always possible to match the data to the categories that were shown in previous editions of the databook. Whenever possible, the data from the revised survey were fit into the older format. Series that were discontinued show no data for the second quarter, whereas new series show no data for the previous quarters. When a significant break in the data occurred, the new data were included and a footnote was to added highlight the changes.

In coming quarters, surveys from the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Federal Reserve Banks are expected to be included in the Databook.

Research departments at each of the five Reserve Banks issue more-detailed quarterly reports on their survey results; these reports are available at the addresses given below.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Box 834, Chicago, Illinois 60690
The sample includes member banks at which farm loans represented 25 percent or more of total loans as of June 1972 (a 10 percent standard is used for banks in the state of Michigan). The sample has undergone periodic review. The latest survey results were based on the responses of about 450 banks.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve P.O. Station, Kansas City, Missouri 64198
The original sample chosen in 1976 had 181 banks selected from banks at which farm loans constituted 50 percent or more of total loans, with appropriate representation of all farm areas. The sample was redrawn and significantly expanded in 1987; roughly 280 banks responded to the latest survey.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480
Before 1987, the sample provided a cross-section of banks of all sizes that were engaged in farm lending. Members of the Upper Midwest Agricultural Credit Council formed the core of the survey panel. In 1987, the sample was redrawn to include only banks at which farm loans represented 25 percent or more of total loans. As outlined above, the Minneapolis survey changed considerably beginning in the first quarter of 1994. In recent surveys, about 120 banks responded.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, P.O. Box 655906, Dallas, Texas 75265-5906
The sample is stratified regionally and includes banks at which farm loans are relatively important or that hold a major portion of bank loans in their region. The sample was enlarged in the first quarter of 1985 and was redrawn in the second quarter of 1989. The results for the most recent quarter were based on the responses from about 200 respondents.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia 23261
The number of agricultural banks in this District is much smaller than that in the other Districts. When the survey was initiated in 1975, the sample consisted of forty-three banks of all sizes; banks with larger amounts of farm loans were sampled more heavily. More recently, the sample has consisted of about thirty banks, roughly three-fourths of which typically respond to the quarterly surveys. Return to link

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