Steve Lindholm, owner, chairman and CEO of Granite Falls Bank, a $207 million-asset ag bank in this southwestern Minnesota town, is the first to admit that he's living in some kind of parallel economic universe.

While much of the rest of the country frets over the prospect of a double-dip recession and further declines in property values, life on the farms surrounding Granite Falls—and the rest of the nation's Corn Belt—has rarely been better. Prices for King Corn, stoked by government biofuel mandates, growing Asian demand for feed grains and a weak dollar, have reached more than $7 per bushel this year, triple the historical average and the highest on record. New technology has improved per-acre yields, allowing farmers to cash in.

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