Upbeat farmer attitude observed


Bank of Pontiac's John Marshall is interviewed on a recent Fairbury Newsmakers program.

PONTIAC – After last year’s long, cold and wet fall harvest season, there is a much more upbeat attitude among farmers this year.


“Having prices increase into harvest always makes people feel better,” admits John Marshall with Bank of Pontiac.


From what Marshall and others at the bank have seen, farm financial statements look pretty good. In fact, things are better than they had planned for as soybean prices are significantly higher than many expected.


“That should add to the overall profitability and keep people moving forward in the next year with a positive note,” Marshall added.


The strong markets during October have several thinking maybe they need to price a little more grain. Marshall said they try to space out their sales to get an above average market price.


“We kind of tend to think maybe it is time to store a little bit of the corn and hope that keeps rallying on.”


Bank of Pontiac’s ag team is hearing varying yield results all throughout the counties they work in with some fields disappointing and others very good. When nationwide numbers are revealed, maybe we won’t have quite the crop originally thought.


This is the time of year when the bank is checking in with customers and farm tenants on the bank managed ground to see how crops are yielding.


“For those of us that do some farm management, we are selling grain, collecting those bushels and making sure we have it all in the computer just right,” Marshall explained.


The bank recently got the news that the Small Business Administration has started to work through those Paycheck Protection loan forgiveness applications. Those who received $150,000 or less could get blanket forgiveness. As of last week, this still needed Congressional approval.


Recent communication indicates the government is actually starting to send money back to the banks that made these loans.


“That’s a real positive sign and it will be positive for the banking industry as a whole because the banks loaned that money out on their own,” said Marshall.


If you received a loan, be on the lookout for information from your bank on what happens next.


Bank of Pontiac covers the towns of Pontiac, Forrest, Fairbury, Odell, Dwight and Coal City with ag customers spread throughout the entire region. Most of those working in the ag department do farm management along with ag lending keeping the bank involved with both the production and lending sides.


“We pride ourselves in the knowledge we have in agriculture and we hope that benefits our customers,” Marshall concluded.

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