Farm values faring well despite drought
Farmland values have skyrocketed in many parts of the country, particularly in the U.S. Midwest and Plains, where strong demand for corn and soybeans has been driving double-digit gains in land valuations.
For the first half of the year, farmland values were up sharply over a year ago in those regions, but the rate of growth appears to be slowing.
"It's probably still too early to tell, but so far we're not seeing (a major slowdown)," said Sturdevant.
More will be known as farmland sales typically pick up after the fall harvest, he said, adding that turnover of farmland is currently running about half the normal rate.
Sturdevant said this year's drought underscored how critical water is to farm lending.
"Every loan we make we have a discussion about access to water, the cost of water, water rights, etc," he said. "It's going to be increasingly important as it becomes more scarce. Water is key."