The State of Farm Banking

When an executive from First Bank of Manhattan talks about agricultural lending, you might be forgiven for doing a double take. That's Manhattan, Illinois.

The bank's vice president, Matthew Hickey, responded to a story on increased attention to farm banks ["Despite Strength, Ag Lenders Face Heightened Reg Scrutiny," June 8] to share something that he told all of his farm borrowers two years ago: "my dad sold corn for $3.12 in August, 1975. By August, 1977, the price of corn was below $1.60."

The original story basically said farm banks are doing fine … right now. Hickey took the guardedness that some sources in the story expressed a step further: "Of course prices are going in the tank. That is not the time to sell. You have to sell well before or after those price drops."

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