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People in 'Tractor Country' may have better time in rough economy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

People who farm may be avoiding some of the credit card debt issues faced by many in the country.
People who farm may be avoiding some of the credit card debt issues faced by many in the country.

Though many people in the country have had trouble because of debt and the down economy, people who use farm equipment may be a bit better off.

A recent story for the PBS Newshour noted that many farmers who live in "Tractor Country" have avoided some of the debts that have plagued Americans, including money owed on credit cards. One of the reasons why is because farmers have learned from past eras of difficulty and prefer to have money in the bank.

Of course, that's not to say there are not risks involved in being a producer. For example, farm equipment can be expensive, and losing crops to bad weather can hurt the bottom line. However, Eric Walhof, president of the Sioux Center First National Banks in Iowa, noted that the risks taken on by farmers and their bankers are more calculated.

"We've made very good money in the past few years and now it's time to spend some of our rainy day money," Walhof said.

Of course, not every farmer is lucky. For example, this year's harvest is being delayed by wet weather across the country. Along with making farmers late, the precipitation has the chance of leading to blight, which can ruin a farmer's output.
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