Compeer CEO calls farm economy “surprisingly resilient” in face of pandemic


Compeer CEO calls farm economy “surprisingly resilient” in face of pandemic

The CEO of a farm credit cooperative says he was pleasantly surprised by how the farm economy responded to the pandemic.

Rod Hebrink with Compeer Financial tells Brownfield agriculture proved to be “surprisingly resilient” and agile once shutdowns swept the nation.

“In the second quarter of 2020 as we began to go into the pandemic, we saw commodity prices fall pretty dramatically. And I think all of us across agriculture and many other sectors of the economy were concerned about what’s this going to mean. How serious is it going to be (and) how long is it going to last?”

He says the farm financial outlook brightened as supply chains shifted and the government delivered pandemic support payments.

“And then we saw commodity prices increasing, so 2020 actually ended up being a pretty solid year for agriculture. And there was a lot of optimism and continues to be a lot of optimism in 2021 with some of the best commodity price levels we’ve had in the last decade.”

A new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows in the past year, farm income and loan repayment rates in that district increased at the fastest pace on record.

Brownfield interviewed Hebrink during Minnesota Farmfest.