Weak Commodity Prices Impacting Rural Economies

A survey of rural banks shows tight living for communities in Illinois and elsewhere across the Midwest, mainly due to low grain prices. Creighton University’s monthly Rural Mainstreet Index asks the presidents of small, community banks in 10 Midwestern states about the economic health of their areas. Their September report listed their 0-100 index at just under 40, the lowest score of 2017. Illinois was slightly higher at 42 but economics professor Ernie Goss tells the Illinois Radio Network that low commodity prices cut into rural savings accounts and in the communities around them.

Jaclyn Martinie, Vice president and senior credit manager with Farm Credit Illinois tells IRN that the toughest thing for farmers to do is restrain family spending from year-to-year.

More than half of the bankers contacted by Creighton said the drought-like conditions had a negative impact in their area.