Bankers Say Farm Income Helping Rural Economy

Bob McArthur, of Marion, harvests soybeans on Neal Horning's farm in Marion on Satuday, Oct. 4, 2008. Horning has been growing soybeans on his farm for 14 years. (Amanda LaRae Larkin/The Gazette)

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By Ellen Kurt

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states expect the rural economy to continue growing in the months ahead because of the strength of farm income.

The overall economic index on the March Rural Mainstreet survey remained at a healthy level of 56.9 even though it was down from February's 58.2.

Any score above 50 on the index, which ranges from 0 to 100, suggests growth in the months ahead. Scores below 50 suggest contraction.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the report. He says the survey suggests farmland values will continue to grow and home sales are beginning to grow.

The index is based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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