Farmers and bankers in Huron weigh in on farm foreclosure concerns

Huron, S.D. - Farmers across the region are busy harvesting their crops, but a new report is bringing to light the concern rural bankers have about farm foreclosures. It’s a problem bankers and farmers in Huron said they aren’t seeing and hope they never will.

“It’s really been almost null. I’m not aware of any,” American Bank and Trust CEO and President, Lynn Schneider said.

A study from Creighton University said about 9.5 percent of bank CEOs surveyed from 10 states expect to be greatly impacted by farm foreclosures over the next five years.

“They’re very important customer of Main Street. From the fertilizer, to the elevator, to the feed for their livestock, repairs and the implement dealers and all of that,” Schneider said.

The report also said weak farm income and low commodity prices are adding to the growing concern.

“It’s very disheartening to see that. You should look at your yield monitor and it says 180 bushel of corn and you should say, well I’m going to pay this bill and this bill and this bill. But, now you're looking at it and you're just, its going to be tight,” Farmer Mike Brosnan said.

Brosnan said the close relationship he has with his bank helps.

“My personal banker also farms so he understands the struggles that we go through and he knows exactly what’s going on,” Brosnan said.

“You have a lot of responsibility and its just wonderful to have that opportunity to try and help them succeed,” Schneider said.

Brosnan said you learn the most in the hard times.

“You learn nothing in the good times. It’s the hard times. Whether it’s farming or anything in life that you learn from it. It makes you a better person and makes you a better operator,” Brosnan said.

Schneider said there is a possibility out there for farm foreclosures, but there is no way to predict if the impact will be very significant or relatively mild.